Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Alloa Athletic

Saturday, 30th Jul 2022

30/07/22: link to audio of James McPake’s and Brian Rice’s post match comments

- - Listen to this James McPake interview

Alloa Athletic manager Brian Rice did not think they were unfortunate to take something out of the first league match of their season, he thought it was a “travesty”. You can listen to his comments at the link at the foot of this page.

Whereas Dunfermline manager James McPake questioned if they had been at the same game.

“I think he must have been watching a different game from myself and everyone else in the stadium.”

The Pars boss was delighted to get the three points on the board on day one of the league campaign:-

“Against a team that played defensively and made it hard for you, you have to find ways to break them down. We created a lot more chances last week but that doesn’t matter, we have got the win and we are delighted.”

James disagreed with the suggestion that Alloa were on top at the start and said that there were similarities with last Saturday’s match against the same opposition:-

“That is what teams are going to do, we need to learn to deal with when teams come and play defensively and try and hit you on the counter. I have been involved in teams like that and there is no way I’m comparing us with this but if you go to Celtic Park but for example, there it is a situation where you try and soak up as much as you can, stay in the game as long as you can and hit them on the counter.

“They knew the threat that we posed last week. It should have been 4-0 last week in my opinion and I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. Today was a different game but I don’t think at any point they really troubled us in terms of playing right through us. They had a couple of strikes from distance. Teams are always going to get chances in games, they cut you open - which didn’t happen - or from distance or from setplays.

“When you weigh that up, we were comfortable in the game, we just needed to get the goal. We got the goal and then saw the game out. I think you can disregard the last ten minutes because then you see what I’d like to happen when teams do come and have a go because then we would have a different game plan.

“They threw caution to the wind with ten minutes to go. Credit to the boys they were very professional in the last ten minutes to see it through. In the first game of the season it is really important just to get the three points regardless of performance or whatever.

“Yes, you want to win and put on a great performance for the fans but also you want three points. I said to the players in there that we were better last week in terms of our all round play and got nothing really. Yes it would have been a point if it had been a league game but we got nothing that would have made us happy whereas we maybe weren’t as fluid and we came away with three points to give us a good start to our league campaign. I am delighted for the players.

“I think what we deserved today, we were the better team on the pitch, we had the better chances in the game. When you look at it, we are creating, we did not create as many but I don’t think they did either. Deniz Mehmet had a good save if I remember from a couple of setplays. Setplays are massive in football, we know that and I think the change of shape in the second half worked and made them change their shape.

“That suited us because as soon as they changed their shape then it was us who were dictating the game. Eventually we got a goal and we went back to the shape that suited us. We forced them into doing that because Josh Edwards started coming into the game a lot more. Kyle Macdonald started getting joy down the right side and we were hurting them, which made them change their shape.

“That was an indication of where the game was going. When you get your goal and you revert to the shape that has been standing us in good stead through all the games, limiting teams to chances. That was the case.”

Did you have a specific message for the team at half time?

“Don’t be worried, we have 45 or 48 minutes to go and win this game of football. Keep believing, look back to what we have done in pre season. We are going to change the shape but we have worked on it. It is not something that we just throw on them, they are good players when you notice in a game that maybe we weren’t you can see what they were trying to do - nullify Josh Edwards.

“In the first half they were trying to do that because he is such a massive threat down that left hand side, if that’s what teams want to do, we will find a way to get him into the game because he is a fantastic footballer.

“You see the difference when we do get him higher up the pitch with the balls that he is putting in. You are asking teams to defend and as much as I was critical of missing chances last week, when you dust it down we are asking teams to defend quite a lot in games. They can only do that for so long.

“We got a bit of a freak goal maybe but we are still asking them to defend. That’s all that I can ask them to do. Today we asked Alloa to defend a lot more than they asked us to defend. We have been excellent defensively throughout the time since we came in. There is a lot of work still to do. It is three points and we move on to next week.”

Is there any movement on players coming in?

“We are working away, I have read the reports and I don’t like speaking about other team’s players just out of respect for other clubs. We are actively trying to add.

“It is frustrating, you could see it today again, Chris Hamilton was suspended and you really only have two subs that you could put on. That is part and parcel, we got the three points and we prepare for FC Edinburgh next week. It is one game ticked off and we want to change the mentality. It is the first win since we beat Partick Thistle and we want to win games of football.

“I thought that we were professional today in seeing the game out very well. I’m just delighted for the players, it is important to get off to a good start in the league.”

- - Hear the thoughts of Alloa manager Brian Rice

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