Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Morton

Saturday, 6th Nov 2021

06/11/21: link to audio of Steven Whittaker and Gus Macpherson

- - Listen to these Steven Whittaker comments

Co-caretaker manager Steven Whittaker told the website:-

“As a set of players and staff we are devastated after the work we put in this week and the work that we put into the game. There were moments in that first half where I felt that we were really good. It was exactly what we were looking for but ultimately the result is just not good enough for the performance that we put in.

“It is the small but vital moments that we are slipping up on at the minute. We are just switching off, our setplays are costing us. The game became a little bit scrappy in the second half and we were probably not making the right decisions on the ball. When it becomes scrappy that doesn’t suit us.

“The first goal came against the run of play, I felt that we were doing good things in their half, creating okay opportunities by building in good areas of the park. To go 1-0 down was disappointing but we got the right response and there was still plenty time in the game to get back into it.

“That was good and Matty got his goal which we are delighted with but the second half didn’t pan out the same way as the first half. We thought that it would be a similar pattern but Morton put a stop to that and we didn’t quite come up with the answers.”

The goals that cost Dunfermline at least a draw came from a 60th minute corner and a penalty three minutes from time. Steven continued:-

“The corner was the most disappointing bit. We know that these situations have been costing us of late and it is a habit that we have got into. We need to get out of that as quick as possible.

“We all know that we can lose that first contacts but it is what happens after that and the reactions to then defend your goal and be first to that next one. We are probably not anticipating the danger as best we could.”

In the second half all three substitutes were used - firstly midway through the half, Craig Wighton replacing Dom Thomas and then twelve minutes from the end Nikolay Todorov and Kyle Macdonald for Kevin O’Hara and Matthew Todd.

“We were just trying to give a different dynamic to our attack. Craig is good at linking it up and there were pockets available to play it into. It was just a different thought process, Ryan dropping in when Dom came off.

“Kyle Macdonald is one of the best crossers in our team and he has shown that when he was in the team earlier in the season. So it was about getting the ball wide to get crosses in, hence why Todorov came on at the same time. There were thoughts behind it but at the end of the day we had a few chances late on, mainly from corners ourselves. We had first contacts from a couple of corners that went close. Ultimately it wasn’t enough.”

It must have been a big decision to play Matty Todd from the start given he had only played 18 minutes of football this season but it looked as though it had worked out with his 35th minute leveller?

“We were delighted for him. He is a great lad and a local lad as well. He has deserved his chance because he comes in every day, works his hardest, trains with a smile on his face and has shown the quality in training. He has deserved that opportunity to go and show it.

“We felt that it was a good time just to throw him in there to see how he coped with it. That was a positive from a not so good afternoon.”

What happens to the caretaker managers now?

“All the focus was on this game, the players and staff put a lot of work into it to try and get the right result today but it has not happened. We will regroup over the weekend and take it from there to early next week to see where we are at.”

Next up is a trip away to play second placed Inverness and Steven explained that two players will be unavailable:-

“Kai Kennedy and Vytas Gašpuitis are away on international duty but we have a squad of 24 fit players to choose from. We will be without those two but when that arises there are opportunities for others.”

How much of a help has Thomas Meggle been this week?

“He has been in touch, we tell him what our plan and thoughts are and he gives us his opinions. We are all working together to try and get the right results and try and get this club out of the position that we are in.”

Will it be hard to lift the guys for the next game?

“It has been hard but it has been a position that we have been in. We had the change with the gaffer not being here, first and foremost we thought there could be a reaction to that to get a positive result but that has not been the case. We will lift them on Monday, try and get some work into them this week to try and beat Inverness on Saturday.”

- - Hear from Morton manager Gus Macpherson

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