Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Arbroath

Saturday, 6th Feb 2021

06/02/21: Link to audio of both manager’s post match comments

- - Listen to this Stevie Crawford interview

A dejected Stevie Crawford said:-

“It is not like me because I think I am usually fair in the way that I talk after games but the referee had both myself and Dick in terms of the weather. He asked us how we felt. I just said that if we started the game then the game should be finished and he couldn’t guarantee that.

“So he had his doubts before the game. His actual words were ‘that if it became farcical then he would have a decision to make during the game’. I don’t want it to be sour grapes, at the end of the day both teams were on the park and Arbroath have beat us fair and square in the conditions that we played in.

“But I have also got a responsibility as manager of Dunfermline football club for the players well being. The conditions that they were asked to play in today weren’t acceptable.

“I just feel strongly that I try and answer the questions that the press give to me in terms of tactics, application of my players and I can’t fault that from them today. You can ask any of my coaching staff fifteen minutes into that game, after Owain had tried a couple of kicks, I have turned around and said that the game should be off.

“I am passionately and open, I know that it is dangerous to talk that way when your guard is down but I do feel strongly that, for an advert for Scottish football, it wasn’t football today.

“”I am not taking anything away from Arbroath, they beat us 2-0 on the day. We will take that as it is but I just feel when the referee has mentioned the word farcical I just find it hard to say that anybody watching that game today can’t say that these were the right conditions to play a game of football in.”

Did you feel that it descended into becoming farcical or was it from the kick off?

“I felt it from early on. If you back and break the game down, look at Owain’s first four of five kicks, he puts them out of the park. It was not Owain deliberately doing that, it is not bad technique. He has a decision to make, if he tries to hit it the other way the wind is blowing it back and it is possibly going out for a throw in ten yards from goal.

“It is not my goalkeeper, to me the conditions played a massive part in the outcome of today’s game.”

Was it as a strong footballing side that you were not able to pass it along the deck on a day like today?

“I am not saying standing here for one minute feeling sorry for ourselves. Watching my players they gave everything that they could today in the conditions. They were up against a good Arbroath side who have a good home record.

“It is not an easy place to come, it is not sour grapes, Arbroath scored two goals today. We hit the woodwork and it didn’t come out to us. They finished their chances and that is fair play to Arbroath.

“I know that we are not going to win games playing nice passing football all the time but I think we have proved as a club over the last 18 months - two years that I have been at the club where we have that competitive side to us and I am just really disappointed that what is farcical? That is the question that I am putting back.

“I couldn’t ask my players to pass the ball today. We ended up making substitutions to get as many attacking players on the pitch that we could in the hope that something was going to fall for us. That is not the way that you want to plan football longer term.

“In terms of application I feel I have my players’ back. My coaching staff were disappointed but as I said, ten to fifteen minutes into that game today I would have gone over and shaken the referee’s hand. It wasn’t conditions that were right for playing Scottish football.”

How damaging is that to your promotion bid?

“We have got to use that as motivation. I will not use excuses in terms of that. I am speaking strongly on how I feel of the game going on and the referee’s viewpoint on that because I was actually worried at stages that boys were going to get injured today.

“That is how it was, that is how some of them are talking in the dressing room after the game. I am duty bound again to make sure that they are alright.

“We have just got to take it, dust ourselves down. We have had two really good performances against Hearts last week and against Raith Rovers, we took three points from six to put ourselves in a good position and we have come up today and unfortunately lost a game of football.

“It is not getting too despondent, it is responding in the right manner and using that as motivation - you don’t get everything your own way in life, come on then let’s kick on from here.”

- - Hear Dick Campbell’s post match comments

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