Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Queen of the South

Saturday, 11th Dec 2021

11/12/21: link to audio of both managers post match comments

- - Listen to John Hughes` post match comments

Manager John Hughes joked that it was East End Park for thrills as he admitted that this side had made it hard for themselves:-

“Way before I came in we were conceding goals, and okay I know Peter (Grant) was working very hard on that and it probably turned when I came in. You were saying okay, that is where we are at the moment, there is point in going cavalier and wide open. So let’s make sure that we have a good solid shape in there, the distances between each other are very very good. If he is getting past you, you can get to him and to be fair since I came in it has probably been like that.

“Even the games that we have lost - it was a penalty last week and a wonder goal against Partick Thistle and you were saying ‘aye it is not bad’ but today was like a basketball match. That was end to end stuff, we were all piling forward ‘how can we score a goal?’

“There was no discipline in our play in terms of what if it comes out. We were all too high and our passing and the way we started that set the tone. If you are giving the ball away then you are going to have to get it back, so you have to give the opposition credit - they made us work.

“We need to be better than that in terms of character, getting after it and wanting to win the game. At 3-2 down I always felt that we would score goals. To score goals we have to get extra bodies forward and that leaves you vulnerable.

“I keep saying, and I’m not joking, if we could play with twelve men we would do alright. I am dying that it is O’Hara and Todorov that are missing out at the moment because we have to play the three in midfield, we are wide open if we don’t.

“On saying that we played three in midfield today and we were wide open. We will have to sit down and analyse it and come up with something that gives us the best chance to win the game. But in terms of excitement and showing character to come back there is plenty of spirit in there. They just need to know how to see a game out, how to play the game properly.

“I felt that we needed to get the ball to Kai (Kennedy) especially in the last ten to twenty minutes but they didn’t realise that. You could probably hear me shouting ‘get it to Kai, get it to Kai’ - he has licence to do what he wants.

“You could see them doubling up on him and all he had to do was to shift it. No we wanted to go and do something else - go down the other side. Just things like that. We will get the video analysis and we will look at it to try and help them along.

“I have got real belief in them, I really have that is why I was getting frustrated today in the dugout because I see what they do on the training pitch and I was coming in this morning saying ‘here we go’ it was a great day for football, there was a drizzle and then honestly that’s the slowest that I have ever seen us start.

“I am saying ‘what’s going on here?’ I have never found football easy. Never ever. I have found football very difficult to control and pass it, I’m talking about passing it with sugar on the top. We were passing it behind players and I just felt that we needed to be better on the ball and more on the front foot.

“Let me say this to the supporters without Dom it is Kai wide left and there may well come a time when players have to go and play a position that is alien to them. The fans are going to have to understand that. That is what we had to do today - go for it with two up front with Kevin (O’Hara) playing off them. Not playing with a wide right but with two midfielders to soak it up. It was lopsided and you were hoping that Aaron could still run the full length. It was like a five in there.

“Once again you were just going with it just off the cuff because you don’t work on that on the training pitch. Am I disappointed? I am disappointed that we conceded three goals. If we were a little bit more resolute and a little bit more compact then that might not be the case but I was delighted with the spirit and the character that they showed to come back and get the point. Even at the end it could have gone any way.”

“Kai is a wonderful talent, we need to the ball to him in that top area. He has that kiddy on role but he is a match winner. The players have to realise that. It doesn’t give Kai an out but give him the ball and there is every chance that there is a cross coming in.

“I just felt that in the last ten to fifteen minutes I was screaming ‘stay high, stay high’. You need to realise what is going on in a game and say listen work it out for yourself. That is when I could do with just a little bit more experience in there to help us along. I just felt at times we were too high and everybody was thinking that they could score a goal. It cannot be like that.”

Where was Vytas Gašpuitis today?

“We decided to leave him out. I was very disappointed because he has done very well but he is not a left centre half. He is a right centre half and I just felt that teams were setting traps for us on that left hand side. Rhys Breen is more left footed and could go and play your pass. The reason that he wasn’t on the bench and Ross Graham was on the bench was because Rhys has not played a lot of football and he has been hurt with a dead leg and he is still carrying his shoulder after being hit there. That is why it was just a natural switch over.

“The big yin is going to have to take it on the chin, he has not done anything wrong it was just our decision. He is a right centre half and he has done very well for us at left centre half and I can only tell you, I was a right centre half and when I played left centre half I was like a fish up a tree. I am seeing that a wee bit but in terms of application and right foot, he has a big part to play between now and the end of the season.”

Is there any update on Dom Thomas, did he get his operation?

“No, we are trying to get his appointment ASAP. He is booked in next week but if there are any cancellations then he is getting in quicker. Hopefully he will have a speedy recovery because we need all hands on deck.

“Positives? I thought big McCann played a real centre forward role today in terms of his hold up play. We need to get closer to him and he could do with someone up there giving him a hand. If you put someone up there though we get a bit short of legs of midfield. Who would be a manager, eh?”

- - Hear the comments of QOS manager Allan Johnston

John Hughes spoke to Jordan Burt for ParsTV

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