Dunfermline Athletic

Manager previews match v FC Edinburgh

Thursday, 5th Jan 2023

05/01/23: JMc - “They`ve kept their form going, they score a lot of goals and have had a few very good results and very strong results as well. We`re under no illusions how hard it`ll be.”

Monday’s call-off was as big a disappointment to the management and players as it was for the fans but James McPake he pointed out that’s part and parcel of football and everyone just needs to move on.

“It`s disappointing when a game doesn`t go ahead but we know the Scottish weather. You work all week and the game doesn`t go ahead. The next game is now Edinburgh so we decided it was time to just work on stuff on the training pitch. Which has been fine.

"I went to Dundee versus Arbroath. We were in here, when the game was called off and so I went up to that. Dave went to Partick v Queen`s Park. You get out and about watching other teams."

On Saturday FC Edinburgh with a 5-3 win away to Airdrieonians, cemented their place as the Pars closest rivals in League One. James pointed out that the Meadowbank side have been that for most of the season:-

"They had another great result at Airdrie after going two goals down. They went there and scored the six before at Airdrie, they score a lot of goals and they create a lot of chances.”

FC Edinburgh have scored 42 league goals but Dunfermline have only conceded eleven. The gaffer claimed that not conceding is always a priority not just this week:-

"I think that it has been evident from the first day we came in that it was something we needed to do. So far we`ve been pretty good defensively, but that`s as a team. Every week we work on the strengths of the opposition, in terms of what they can do. There`s a big focus on how we can hurt them as well because we want to go there and win the game. We did that when we were there the last time, we were very dominant that day, it was a good performance and we were pretty comfortable.

“That was really early in the season. When they came here, it was a really stuffy game out there. We scored a goal late on from a cross but I think the players they`ve signed, are really experienced players. I had Liam Fontaine at Dundee, he`s had a fantastic career. I played against him when he was at Bristol City in 2009 and 2010. He`s had a great career and good when you get people and players like that in.

“They`ve recruited really well since they came up. We`re halfway through the league now and they`re second for a reason. They`ve kept their form going, they score a lot of goals and have had a few very good results and very strong results as well. We`re under no illusions how hard it`ll be.”

Dunfermline won 1-0 in October when Fontaine deflected a Sam Fisher cross into his own net and this Saturday is anticipated to be yet another high value game where the winner would again claim pole position:-

"They will be looking at it - I think when they came here they could have went top as well. That just shows the consistency they`ve shown. It`s another three points or a point or no points, so it`s similar to last week`s game. I know it`s boring, what we say, but we genuinely just look at one game at a time. I still think it`s too early to say `this will make our season, this could break our season or it`s going to have a massive impact on other teams`. 

"Every team has still got their own fight for what they`re trying to do and we can only concentrate on us."

The postponement of the Falkirk game on Monday had one positive since it has allowed Kevin O`Hara more time to ready himself to return from injury. James added:-

"He`s trained really well the last couple of days. He would have got minutes on Monday but we`ve been able to top that up in terms of what we`ve done on the training pitch with him. So his load is probably more, he`s more comfortable now to go into a game situation.

"I`m delighted he`s back. It gives us another option, a very good option at that, at the top end of the pitch. He`s going to be a key player for us between now and the end of the season hopefully."

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