Dunfermline Athletic

Managers Post Ayr United

Saturday, 11th Sep 2021

11/09/21: link to audio of both managers post match comments

- - Listen to this Peter Grant interview

Dunfermline manager Peter Grant told the media that the match was just like the story of his season, creating and missing chances.

“Along with the soft goals we gave away, that combination has been crucial so far this season for us. You can accept some fantastic saves but we have had some really bad misses. Every mistake or error that we seem to make we are getting punished at this moment in time.

“It is a difficult day obviously, really difficult. You cannot ask for any more effort from the boys, I know when you are not winning games you end up a little bit nervous, you rush things and you make rash choices but that is when you have to stay that bit composed.

“It is easy to say. It is the opposite when you are playing every so well. Things that you don’t even think about become natural but you take that extra touch or make that extra wrong choice because you have taken that extra touch.

“That is the way it is at this moment in time unfortunately. Every time we make an error we seem to be punished, every chance we create we seem to miss.”

You are only four games into the Championship season, do you just tell the boys to remain calm?

“I know what football is like, you have to win games of football. We are here to win games of football that is the nature of the beast. I can’t ask for anything more, the boys commitment on the training field is fantastic. I know that it is a completely different going on a football pitch when you have made that extra touch or made that mistake and the team get a little edgy. I understand that 100 per cent.

“I have been there myself many many times when you are going through tough times. These times are the ones that either make you or break you in the respect of that. You have to stand tough, it is not easy but you have to remember these moments and use them as motivation.

“We never want to feel like the way that we are feeling just now, it has been four games of torture really in the respect of how we feel after the games.

“The Morton game was okay up for a period of it but the other league performances have been far short of that. We have created chances in every game but I cannot think of a goal that has been scored against us that has been a good goal. It has either been an individual error or a team error. As I say that is the thing that is killing us.”

Did you see enough out there today to feel confident that you can turn this around quickly?

“When I look at the group of players that I have, I have no argument with that. I have had that from day one. I know that I have players who are very very capable of playing in this league, there is absolutely no doubt of that.

“I know I have a squad capable of that, okay in the last couple of weeks we have had a couple of issues like everyone else has but you are still trying to get that fitness by bringing them in for two days. It is not easy, but it is not easy for anyone. It is not easy particularly when you are not having good results. It is a lot easier when you are winning games.

“I have to take it on the chin today but effort wise, commitment wise and the quality at times when we could have taken more care in certain areas and we would have created better opportunities but yet again individual mistakes are costing us dearly.”

You made four changes for today, you must have been hoping that would have made a difference to the team?

“Yes, some guys find themselves out of the team not necessarily because they have been doing poorly. I have said that throughout. I just need certain things in certain games. You try and change it up a little bit and I have worked with the boys through situations in the last couple of weeks. Obviously you don’t want to speak about that but there have been individuals who have not been in.

“We understand that but we can’t make excuses for losing games. The bottom line is that we are losing games of football. No matter what you do that is what you are paid to do. As a manager I am paid to win games of football, not to make excuses. It is hard and very very difficult at this moment in time because that is what you want to do - win games of football and feel fantastic, unfortunately you are feeling the complete opposite.”

It must be becoming increasingly difficult to lift the team?

“They are a really good group of boys. They are a good age because there is a good split in them I think that is when your senior ones have to look after the younger ones because some of them have never been through that before. Some of the younger ones have never played in front of crowds before this season, that is a completely different thing for them.

“People talk about it lightly but it is not, it is fact. They have either come from youth football or under 23s where nobody is at the game. The supporters are back which is fantastic but when you make an error it is completely different. When you don’t have a crowd in you think I will take the ball again but the next time you are maybe a bit more tentative because there is support in.

“People say ‘what is it like to play in front of big crowds’. You have to go out there and actually take part in it. Some guys respond to it fantastically well and some other guys maybe not so good.

“We know that there are certain reasons for it of course but at the end of the day we can’t make excuses, we have just made far too many mistakes and it is killing us.

“Every game that we have had I think we have had four or five great chances in every single game, I can’t complain about that. At the end of the day it makes you that bit more tentative when you keep conceding goals.

“I am not blaming the defenders. Today there was a positional thing that happened with the very first goal. Just because someone was out of position because we knew that would happen because of the change and switch of the kick out. It cost us because another one tried to make up for him and it had a snowball effect and the ball went in at the back post.

“On the blackboard it is perfect but you know in a game if you switch off for that split second and someone sees it there is a possibility that you could get punished. Unfortunately that is what we seem to do and every error or misjudgement we make we are getting punished for it.

“We have put ourselves in positions like that before, but teams are not even forcing us into mistakes and we are conceding by tying ourselves up in knots. I know that is what it is like when you are not winning games. I understand that but the only way that you are going to get out of it is by winning games to get that confidence back.

“It would be fantastic if you could go out and give somebody a bag of confidence. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen, the only way that you can get that is by winning games of football. It is the only way to build that back. During the week in training you don’t see these wee incidences but match day is completely different because there is a different pressure on obviously. It is who handles that best.

“At this moment in time it is not going too well for us, it is sore, it is hard and very very difficult to take. You just have to rub yourself down and prepare properly. I say that to the boys - the only thing that you can take from these moments is how badly you feel. That is the only thing that you can take from them, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if people say you did this well, you did that well, you created chances, you have lost another game of football. We know the consequences of that so I respect that 100 per cent, I know a game of football is about winning.”

- - Hear thoughts of Jim Duffy

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