Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Ross County

Saturday, 16th Jul 2022

16/07/22: Link to audio of both managers post match comments.

- - Listen to this James McPake interview

You must have felt that you should have taken something out of the performance against Ross County?

“Credit to the players I thought they were excellent for the full 95 minutes today” replied Dunfermline manager James McPake, “they did the football club proud but at the end of the day you get nothing for doing them proud.

“We felt that it was a really good performance against an established Premiership side with a really good manager. We will use that next week as motivation to go but we don’t want too many of those games where you feel that you should have taken something from, but you didn’t.

“It is that old hard luck story, if there is a way to lose a game I don’t really buy that. We have to be more ruthless like they were but as I say, I cannot really fault the players they were excellent as they have been the full pre season.

“Chances don’t win you games but we had the better of the chances and some of our play was excellent as well. One thing about that group they will work really hard and they showed that today again. They left nothing out there and it is not often that you get - albeit there weren’t a lot of fans here given the distance - the fans that did come up were very appreciative of the fact that the players gave it everything.

“I said that when I got the job, that is the one thing that we can guarantee. Win, lose or draw we will put that performance out there and you can see that was the case today and that’s good going forward.”

You almost salvaged it at the end when the equaliser almost came?

“On another day they would have gone in. Craig (Wighton) was unlucky to hit the bar, then four or five of them were trying to get it over the line. Sometimes your luck is in or out but for us unfortunately it was out.

“Credit and good luck to Ross County, they are a really good side with a good manager who I have a lot of respect for. They got the win, they put the ball in the net and they are away with the three points.

“I will not go as far as to say that we should have won the game but there is no way Dunfermline should have lost that game.”

Is it encouraging that you limited Ross County especially in the first half?

“Yes, it is something that we have tried to be big on. It is really good but the frustrating thing is that it is a second phase or a third phase at a setplay that does us in the end. We are really big on setplays and the one negative to come out of the game is our deliveries from setplays and wide free kicks weren’t great. It is something that we will work on because we can be a big threat.

“With the players that we have got and the way they can go and attack it. That has to be better and it will be we will work on that this week. I said before the game to the radio, no disrespect to pre season or the other teams but this was the first real big test.

“We have played two Premier Sports cup games already. We were comfortable at East Fife and then Buckie came down to play us on our pitch. When we got that goal and then the second goal you would think that our fitness levels should win us the game comfortably which it did.

“Ross County finished top six last season deservedly so and they are a really good side particularly going forward. A lot of credit to the players for carrying out the game plan. We went slightly different with two deeper lying midfielders who I thought were excellent the full game in Chris Hamilton and Paul Allan with Matty Todd doing a thankless shift in their himself higher up the pitch. It worked and it showed it worked.

“We will take a lot of heart going away from here. It is a defeat but when we dust ourselves down and watch it, there was a lot of good stuff in it.”

Ross County manager Malky Mackay spoke about his team’s performance, please refer to the audio but he was also keen to speak to the Dunfermline website. He told us:-

“I think it was a great test in regards us moving towards our first league game against Hearts. Dunfermline are a big club as far as I’m concerned, they have a good support and they are a team that has unfortunately dropped out of the Championship.

“But I think that they have brought in a Premierleague manager, I know that there is German ownership of the club who are investing and there is a new training ground on the way. I’m sure that they will be targeting to win the league.

“I know that there are a couple of other teams - Falkirk are obviously in there as well but I would imagine that the target would be to win the league and get back into the Championship and eventually go beyond that.

“It is a good football club with good people at it and we knew that it was going to be a tough test here today. I’m delighted for James McPake, I thought he was hard done by at Dundee and I’m delighted that he is back in again quite quickly. He is a good young manager and someone who wants to learn. He has humility and a lot to give the game in Scotland.

“To be honest I don’t know him as a friend. We were obviously in a very similar position last year down the bottom of the league at that point. We had played each other a few times and I dropped him a note after one of the games just to wish him all the best and keep going. I thought how he handled himself throughout the whole situation was excellent. It was a credit to him.”

- - Hear all comments from Malky Mackay

Hear James McPake interview with Jordan Burt for PARStv

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