Manager previews FalkirkMonday, 6th Mar 2023
06/03/23: JM - “They`re a good team and they can hurt you if you`re not right, as we saw for 45 minutes here.
Manager James McPake is looking forward to Tuesday night’s league match against Falkirk at The KDM Group East End Park. His team goes into the first v second clash having won again at the weekend, having achieved back to back clean sheets and picked up the three points for the 17th time this season.
“We are fourteen league games unbeaten, we are back at home and the buzz going about is the big crowd. That is what we want, we want to be playing out there with over six thousand home fans. It will be a first experience for me and it is something that we are all really looking forward to.
“We have all played in big games, been involved in big games. I would be lying if I said that you don’t enjoy the hype everybody does. For big games like this it carries the hype. I have been involved in Edinburgh derbies, Dundee derbies, Coventry v Leicester. I don’t know where this one ranks in terms of derbies, it is more a rivalry than a derby.
“We have experienced it twice this season. Once at home, once away and the atmospheres have been great but ask anybody in there with no disrespect to any other ground we would prefer that to going to play Edinburgh. I don’t mean that any disrespect of Edinburgh, I just mean the facility.”
“That day at Falkirk we had two thousand away fans and they will bring that here. It adds to the atmosphere, it is under the lights and every player wants to play in it. You see players with wee niggles who are all desperate to train, you see everybody wanting to come.
“When the game starts everything round about you just goes out the window. There could be nobody in the ground, you need to play the game that’s there in front of you and give your fans something to cheer about, whether that’s two thousand here for a pre-season friendly or eight thousand tomorrow night. When the whistle goes it is just a wee bit noisier!”
"They are a good team with real threat. Like Callumn Morrison. I like him a lot, good player. Depending on their striker, it will be Oliver we think, but if they change it up, Burrell`s played in the two games against us before. He`s a threat whatever we do.
"I like the way they play. I`ve got respect for the way their players play and move the ball. They`re a good team and they can hurt you if you`re not right, as we saw for 45 minutes here. We didn`t start that game, we just never got close enough to them, we allowed them too much space to play, and they hurt us that day. Second half, it did change when we got after them. We`ll see what happens tomorrow."
Pars to play to strengths
"I`m sure they`ve got somebody at every one of our games. They are watching us and that`s the job of the scouts. We`ve played each other twice now. I think they`re two points ahead of us in the form guide for the last six games, if I`m right, having looked at it this morning, so they`re obviously on a fantastic run.
"They`re on a fantastic run of form and that`s credit to them. They can look into the way we`re going to play, or what we`re going to do, but we`ll concentrate solely on what we need to get a performance out of the eleven we put on the pitch, with any changes that we`ve shown can make a real impact to the team. I`m looking forward to it."
“Aaron’s injury was a bad cut that did require stitches. Unfortunately he will miss tomorrow but he has been great, very consistent and he is a really good character but we will use him in and around the squad. He will still bring that leadership, that other side that he has got. He is an important figure in the dressing room so he will be there. It is unfortunate that he is missing the game but hopefully he will be no more than ten days to get him back. We just need to make sure that wound heals, it was clean, and then get him back training.
“It was a strange one because when you get a serious injury in a game you are more worried about the player than you are focused on the game. That was the real concern for us particularly at the end of that first half. I think it was in everybody’s head because Aaron doesn’t normally stay down. You know when he does stay down you know that something is up.
“It was a worry, concerning, and as I said after the match on Saturday that it was your team mate, your friend and everybody’s head kind of switched to that and Alloa had a wee spell. When we saw him at half time we got the idea that it was just a bad cut. Thankfully we got good news from the hospital after the game.
“That is a big positive. At the end of the day he is a human being, he is a dad, he is doing really well for this football club and giving everything. That matters more than any result but thankfully we got the result as well.”
After missing last Saturday’s match through injury and illness, the manager confirmed Josh Edwards and Nikolay Todorov are both back in training. “That’s a bonus for us. We will see how they are tomorrow.”
Last time against Falkirk a plan paid off, can we expect a special one this time around?
“We will see which one comes out tomorrow. It will be decided on a setplay probably, as they normally are. We have worked on it, there is a plan for every team.”
A win over Falkirk would create an eight point advantage over the closest pursuers but as is his norm James would not look into the future, closing:-
“If the performance tomorrow night leads to the three points then we will look ahead to Peterhead.”
Views : 2,167