Dunfermline Athletic

Manager post Falkirk

Saturday, 8th Apr 2023

08/04/23: link to audio of James McPake’s post match comments

- - Listen to this James McPake interview

"We knew it was going to be a tough game. We didn`t defend our box in the first 35 minutes. They come out and played a different way from what they normally do, they were very direct. They weren`t building the way they normally build. 

"To say it caught us by surprise, I don`t know if that`s right because we`re normally very good when we come up against teams like that more in this league than we do a team that normally plays the way Falkirk play. We should have been better, but real credit to the players to go 2-0 down away from home here.

“With that team, you never think they`re beat. We were 3-0 down at Airdrie, 2-0 down here but with that group of boys you do never feel they`re beat. They get the first goal back quick - it`s an excellent goal, good ball from Lewis to Craig, good finish. To be fair, at half-time we were a wee bit annoyed we didn`t go in 3-2 up because it was a great bit of play and very unlucky. It was more an open game than what we`ve had against them before, but I think we were worthy of at least a point."

Did half time come at wrong time for you?

"I don`t really believe in that, I`m not sure. We got in and we kind of addressed a few things. The only thing that was really hampering us or causing us bother was probably ourselves. We weren`t dealing with balls into our box, we weren`t getting enough contact of the clearances.

"Second half, it was a lot better but it was windy out there. It`s tough to tell from sitting here. They were saying that when they came in from the warm-up it was really windy. Maybe that played a part, I don`t know.
"In terms of character, personality to get back in the game, I`m not surprised by the group. I`m delighted for them.

"It keeps the unbeaten run going, keeps that record going as well. It`s one defeat, we`ve now taken eight points from Falkirk. All the stuff will come out that there were nothing in the games - it doesn`t really matter. We`ve scored the goals to pick the three points up (at East End), we`ve shown we can fight back when we`re behind in this game.

"Regardless if we`d have got the point, all three points or lost today, it was never going to define our season anyway. We`re proud of that record, we`re proud we`ve only lost one game. If they turn out to be our biggest rivals, then we`re quite happy to take eight points off them regardless of how much is in the game, but you`ve got to put the ball in the net. You got to keep clean sheets or score more than the other team. That`s what we`ve done over the four games.

"You see the crowd again, fantastic. So to go four games against them relatively unscathed, I think the biggest problem we had was going 2-0 down but the players have shown that`s not an issue to them and they get back in it.”

The crowd kept with you after going two goals behind?

"I said to Dave (Mackay) when we went a goal down, it`s a test for us now and we`ll see how we react. Particularly with the big crowd.  We`ve gone behind in other games, but not in front of a massive crowd like that away from home. The players have got plenty credit when it comes to the fans now. That`s 31 league games, they`ve gave everything for this club and those fans.

"And you see the scenes at the end, that was just mutual appreciation again. We`d have done that had we not recovered from the two goals. They`re so important to us, we really appreciate the backing when we go behind. When you`re two goals down it just adds that wee bit to it. We`re not happy with the point, we wanted to come here and win the game. Sometimes you just say, the circumstances to go 2-0 down - would you take a point then? Probably, yeah."

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