Dunfermline Athletic

Managers Post Hamilton

Saturday, 25th Sep 2021

25/09/21:- hear the post matches comments from Peter Grant and Stuart Taylor.

- - Listen to this Peter Grant interview

“A clean sheet is great, fantastic, delighted, we seem to have cut out individual errors at the moment in time” claimed Dunfermline manager Peter Grant when he faced the press after his team’s 0-0 draw at home to Hamilton Academical:-

“I am still expecting a lot more quality from us. As I said to the boys, it is hard, and I have been there myself when the results are not going for you are a wee bit tentative in everything you do and you rush things a wee bit.

“We had great opportunities in the first half. 3 v 2s, 2 v 1s and we picked the wrong choice. People snatching at it and I know striker’s want to score goals or have shots away, but the best ones pick the right decisions. It was the wrong decision I think on three occasions.

“These were massive moments I felt because that lets you settle down. Then you can afford that period where you can say ‘okay, the other team is going to have to work hard to score against you’.

“I thought they were massive opportunities. People will not look at it that way, then late in the game when you want to keep your strikers on, the two of them end up injured at the same time. That seems to be the unfortunate luck that we are having at this moment in time.

“As I say, clean sheet and showing a bit of doggedness about them but I am still expecting a lot more quality about them. I have got to tip my hat, I thought Graham Dorrans was excellent. I think he has been excellent in the last few games for us. I know that it has been a tough period for him.

“He is an experienced player coming in ten weeks behind everybody with his fitness. His levels right from the first minute to the last was commendable for him. I thought he was terrific today.

“It was a game where I feel at important moments we should have picked the right choice. You find yourself under pressure when they had four corners on the spin so they are the things that happen. Great credit to the boys, there was minimal choices and I felt, they showed their resilience not to concede in that period but but obviously it is a disappointment to drop two points at home again.

“Owain Fon Williams job was mostly dealing with crosses. Great credit to the boys, there were minimal chances going through us. I have absolutely no doubt, having just watched them there, that we had fantastic opportunities with 2v1s and 3v2s, and we have made the wrong choices on these occasions.

“I am still expecting more in the final third, I felt the selection in the final third wasn’t good enough. Then as I say in the period of the game where you want to take the game and have a go again, bring on players at 0-0 to try and win it, you have to take two strikers off because of injury.

“They are the moments. As I say in the first period we should have done that, if we had done that and taken care then I believe it becomes a completely different game. A couple of weeks ago I was complaining about the fact that we couldn’t keep clean sheets. Now we have kept clean sheets we have to play better.

“I said last week when we played against Ayr United - I thought the result was poor but I thought a lot of the performance was really good. I feel, believe it or not, in the last two games we have not played as well but we have ended up getting two clean sheets.it is trying to have that balancing act.

“I know that we have better quality than we showed today but they showed resilience that I am delighted with.”

Same result as last week but does it feel a wee bit less positive this week?

“Yes, it does. Last week we had more concrete chances. The one on one that Craig had in the 92nd minute and Toddy’s header from a couple of yards out for sure. But with the quality and the people in positions, if we pick the right pass then it is a goal. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that and we didn’t do that today.

“I feel we defended well, we got into good areas, especially first half in that final third we didn’t make the best of it. That is probably why it feels more disappointing. I knew how hard it was going to be against Hamilton. I have watched five of their games, I know that they have played well in games and they find themselves similar to us, losing poor goals.

“I knew that they had a bit of quality and if you don’t give corners and set plays away you do okay but if you do you know that they have fantastic quality and great delivery. That was the way that they tried to play today - get as many crosses into the box as they possibly could. I thought that we defended them well.

“Our defensive job we have done that quite well but I am still expecting more quality from us. It is trying to get that balance because I think I have said many times people say that you are expansive and you end up losing goals. If you do it the other way it is a negative on yourself. But at the time in the game today, when you are looking for more strikers to come on you end up having to take two off.

“We ended up with a midfielder playing a bit higher. That seems to be the way it is for us. It does feel a little bit different today. I don’t know why last week, it was maybe just stopping the bad results and the performance was dogged, and we created chances.

“Today I am more disappointed because of the opportunities that we did have to punish especially in the first half. Then we had to hang on through four or five corners coming in late in the game which to be fair they dug in and defended them well. Probably that’s why it feels a little more disappointing than last week.”

You touched on the progress of Graham Dorrans, we’re you always confident that he would show the quality?

“I think the answer was there when we signed him. We had to thrown him in right away because where was I going to play him? There is no reserve games, no 23s or whatever so I had to throw him in right at the very first game. He hadn’t played for ten weeks, he had been doing his own training but that is completely different from matches. It would have been fantastic if I had been able to get him in for the cup ties but that couldn’t happen for different reasons.

“Graham was still in Australia and coming back to the covid situation he had to give up another period of time that didn’t help him. He has been training extremely hard, very hard in difficult circumstances. When you are a senior player like Graham you feel it more, I know it sounds crazy but you feel it more.

“Younger ones take the criticism and have to get on with it but Graham has been over the course before and wants to play in a team that is successful like the rest of us. We all want to be successful but I think he has shown leadership qualities and shown the quality that he has.

“It is not easy and we all have tough Saturday evenings when we don’t win games of football and that never changes. People think it gets easier when you get older. It gets much harder please believe me. It gets much harder to stomach a Saturday night when you have not won a game of football.”

Asked about the injured players, Peter replied:-

“As I said last week, a few of them didn’t train right up to Thursday. It is just an ongoing situation with them. They show great willingness and it is difficult to leave them out when they say that they are fit because I want them available. They are making themselves available, the physio is saying the boys want to play and that is great credit to them. But it is difficult when you are not at your best.

“Young Kai (Kennedy) has been carrying an ankle injury for a while and we had a covid situation with him. Ryan (Dow) is just back and playing more minutes that we would have like him to have because he was out for that period of six or seven months. To come back in and play near enough 90 minutes every week is great credit to him for that. It shows you how hard he has worked away from it.

“We have a few boys who have come off treatment tables to play but listen, I am everybody in this division is the exact same. One thing that I’m really pleased with is the group, as you can see with the boys who we have on the bench, are showing a diligence and a work ethic that they want to be part of something even when it is tough going. That says enough about their character and hopefully that can push us forward to win games of football.”

- - Hear the comments of Accies boss Steven Taylor

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