Dunfermline Athletic

Manager post Queen of the South

Saturday, 3rd Dec 2022

03/12/22: link to audio of James McPake’s post match comments

- - Listen to this James McPake interview

“It was a fair result I would say. I am not going to come in here and lie and say Queens came here, sat in and hit us with a sucker punch and we just couldn’t break them down.

“No I think there wasn’t too much goalmouth activity in the first half from both sides. We had a couple of balls in from Josh Edwards, we had Craig’s chance and a couple of setplays. Their first shot on target I believe was a goal with thirty seconds to play.

“Second half there were loads and it became a better games I’d imagine for the people watching. It certainly wasn’t for me at times because we were chasing that equaliser. Credit to Queens, I spoke to the coaching staff and they are the first team that has come here and done that for ninety minutes.

“They kept at us and when we changed formation they didn’t really change to suit us which I think is credit to Wullie Gibson and bravery from him. I don’t mean bravery really, it was good tactical work from him because he knew that it was working and he knew that we were the ones who were changing personnel, changing shape at times. So why would he? They could have won the game with some chances late on, we could have won the game with some chances late on.

“That is why I’m not going to be bitter and say that we are disappointed. We are disappointed but I’m not going to stand and say that we should have won that game or that they came and were negative. No, they came and they had a right go and credit to them.

“Credit to our group of players for showing real hearts and real character again when you are down with a crowd that is demanding balls into the box and runs forward which we want because that then helps the players to go and do it.

“We have dug another point out. We didn’t know other results at the time and it might be important. It might not be but we are just too early in the season to even think that way.

“It is still just one defeat but in no way am I standing here saying that I am pleased that we have dropped two points at home but given the circumstances, given the way Queen of the South came and played, given that we weren’t at our best - and most of that was down to the way Queens played - that we still managed to keep going, keep fighting and not get up off our knees.

“We have done that a couple of times this season and that is credit to the players at the football club.”

Nikolay Todorov came on for Sam Fisher eight minutes into the second half and James said:-

“The big man can be gutted every week that he is not playing because he does a job for us every time he plays. I would need to go back and look but there are not many times that we have gone with the exact same team and exact same shape week to week. Would I have done it again? Probably because I don’t think what we would have done would have altered the way Queens would have played anyway. They were a real threat.

“Nikolay comes on, he trains great and is fantastic round about the place. I have not got a bad word to say about him in terms of attitude, desire, willingness to win and what another great goal for him.

“He has scored important goals for us already this season so I am delighted for him. He almost had another one and he is raging as well about the one he missed. I cannot remember it because I think my head was ‘fried’ by that point.

“Rhys Breen hit one that came back to Wighton but then they had some chances up the top end but we know with those players on the pitch we are always going to get chances.

“It was tactical with Sam Fisher coming off. He didn’t have any worse a game than anyone else, we just just decided it would be Sam. Chris Mochrie is in there disappointed. I don’t need to tell you how much I love Chris and the way he plays the game but he has set a bar so high for someone so young. When you dip just slightly below that you feel disappointed. That is why he is here, learning and he is going to have a fantastic career. He is great to work with but again that was tactical.

“The ones that went on, in terms of shape change I think worked okay. Matty Todd got really into the game, Joe Chalmers was excellent again. For me Joe was the best man on the pitch, I am being biased because he was in the Dunfermline team but he was certainly the best player on the Dunfermline pitch today for me.

“Chris Hamilton came on again and showed what he can do, so we have a good squad and we will use the squad. I’m probably talking more now that I do when we win! I am proud of them, that one will not sit well with a lot of people because they demand results and I get that. When you are down and you know that you are down and you keep bouncing back that is a sucker punch for everybody else.

“There is certainly loads of character in there to keep doing that. We will continue to push. We know where we are as a group from where we came in. It is still very early and we are still getting our habits and our ideas across to the players. What I can say is that they are buying into everything when they are giving their feedback.

“I am delighted with the group, not delighted with the result but all in all I could just end this interview with this sentence- I think it was a fair result!”

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