Dunfermline Athletic

Manager post Montrose

Saturday, 4th Feb 2023

04/02/23 - link to audio of James McPake’s post match comments

- - Listen to this James McPake Interview

Speaking after the 2-0 win over Montrose, manager James McPake said:-

“They are all tough. You need to do the hard side of the game to get anything in any game particularly when they come here. They make it stuffy, they make it hard but I thought we outfought them and outran them. In spells of the game we had the better play and outplayed them at times when we did get the ball down. It is always going to take a lot to win this game but we were good on the day and I’m delighted for the boys.”

You had a battle of a first half?

“The two games before (against Montrose) have been. It is not anything that we will ever shirk away from. We have players in that team who can do the horrible side of the game, like Lewis McCann- he does it great. Chris Hamilton and Craig Wighton do the horrible side of the game great as well. When you have player# who can do that, that fight, that togetherness then it is going to take a team a lot to especially come here and outfight us. That is never going to happen.”

Craig Wighton’s all round play was brilliant again?

“Excellent, I thought. It is just the intelligence that he plays with. If you play to his strengths which we are doing, and a lot of work goes in through the week to use his intelligence because he is dragging people all over the pitch.

“As I’ve said before, he is brilliant to work with, I saw when he was sixteen and I was playing against him, just how intelligent he can be on the pitch. His movement, his awareness and his willingness to run into spaces which at times when you watch games if you are not looking for that, if you are looking for people to do tricks and flicks or whatever, then Craig can do that.

“But if you just go and watch him in a game and just see the football know how that he does carry then when you play to that and use that he is a very very good player. I thought that he was excellent today. His work rate, he gets his goal but even taking his goal away I thought that he was brilliant.”

Rhys Breen’s injury the only downside?

“I don’t know what the doctors have done in there because he is hopping about and the stretcher has gone. The big man was great again, he is playing with either a broken hand or a really injured hand. That is why that was strapped up but he is a warrior as well and it takes a lot for him to go off albeit he got stretchered off today!

“I hate laughing because in case it is something but I was doing the team talk post match and he walked by me. It was one where you had to do a double take, I thought my head was playing games with me. Hopefully he will be alright but we will get it assessed.

When you were forced to make that change it appeared to give a bit of a spark? Kevin O’Hara came on and was so lively.

“Yes, Kevin was excellent as well. It was a really good team performance. We went from a three to a four in the first half and settled very quickly. It was not surprising because the lads work on that and they have done that before. Then when you lose your centre back Aaron (Comrie) goes in bearing in mind Aaron changed from a centre back to a full back and back to a centre back. My head would have been fried with that.

“Kyle Macdonald went and played right back and was excellent as well. Kevin came on and he could have had a couple of goals if he had been a bit more selfish. He has tried to do the right thing and set his team mate up. It was a couple of great bits of play. The work rate, the desire to just do a horrible job and it’s the wee horrible jobs that I like the most. If you can get most of your players doing that week to week then you will get success.

“It’s another clean sheet for the team, for Deniz and that’s twelve goals in twenty two (league) games. The record is good and it was important to get back to winning ways. We stressed that to the players and they were keen to do that.

“A lot of questions would have been asked of us after going and hitting that wee blip albeit we still never lost a league game.It was a blip in terms of our standards of performance which I spoke about but that’s fine, we are quite happy to be questioned.”

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