Dunfermline Athletic

Stephen Kenny Post Hearts

Saturday, 3rd Feb 2007

"It was a very good cup tie, it was end to end I felt. Our wide players excite the crowd; the crowd were on their feet for a lot of the game.

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The victorious Pars Manager reflected on how his team can get results in the cup but incur every misfortune in the league:-

"We had beaten Rangers 3-2 and lost 1-0 in the League, we have beaten Hearts 1-0 and lost 1-0 in the League. We lost in the 94th minute to Falkirk in a cruel scene so today it balanced out a bit because Dorus (de Vries) made a couple of good saves in the second half to keep us in it.

"It was a very good cup tie, it was end to end I felt.  Our wide players excite the crowd; the crowd were on their feet for a lot of the game. We are trying to improve the team, it is important that we represent the club well.  Supporters relate to the players and that is one of the things that we want to try and do.  At the minute it is all about survival, we know that but we want to try and establish a team that the supporters identify with. That is the objective."

Did you always think it was coming Stephen? asked James Masson of the Evening Telegraph:-

"Absolutely not!" joked the Manager.  "We have not been scoring goals, it has been a problem for us and to be honest for all the play we had we didn't create enough clear cut chances today. There is still room for improvement from that point of view.

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"I don't think anyone could deny us the win, we were very attacking in the way we set out.  Hammill and O'Brien stayed up the pitch in the second half and left our back four to deal with everything really - we had four up for most of the second half and we got our rewards in the end.

"We certainly had a go and sometimes Hearts had a few chances in the second half.  They were dangerous, they are the cup holders with a lot of international players so of course they were going to cause us problems. We were very resolute, we have improved a lot defensively even though we had lost Greg Shields and Stephen Glass from last week. The two young players coming in have really given us a cutting edge, we just have to get our forwards getting a goal or two to give us a bit more belief."

Though only 19, Adam Hammill was very impressive on his first start in a Dunfermline strip, Stephen Kenny revealed a little more about how he acquired the services of this young Liverpool talent:-

"I had been aware of a few of the players at Liverpool and I have seen him play a couple of reserve games since I came here.  We went to Wrexham a couple of weeks ago midweek to watch Liverpool play Sheffield United reserves.  He did very well that night and Liverpool were very good to us, as was Gordon Strachan with Jim O'Brien. Trying to attract players when you are several points off at the foot of the table, it is hard to attract players of quality to that situation on a permanent basis.

"Hunger is important - you can't underestimate that.  Players like Jim and Adam coming in are hungry to make their mark.  They have no inhibitions and that can be a good thing."

The Pars boss was rather shocked when he collected Adam from Edinburgh Airport:-

"I couldn't believe how young he looked with his clothes on.  When I brought him into the dressing room, the players questioned who is this, is this going to salvage our season?  This young kid could be someone's younger brother.  Certainly he strips out differently, he is a very good player."

Do you feel you deserve an easier draw in the next round than Rangers and Hearts?

"I bloody hope so you know" retorted the Manager to raise a number of smiles, "we will wait and see who we get?"

Stephen Kenny was asked if he was going back to Spain next week?

"The club were good enough to send us when you are down at the bottom of the league. With a club like Dunfermline finances are always going to be tight.  The owner of the club, Gavin Masterton was terrific organising us to go.  It helped integrate the players, Adam and Jim, Stephen Glass and Bobby Ryan and Jamie Harris.  They will play a part over the next few weeks. 

"When you are bringing in new players it gave us a chance to work on them, because the pitches over the last few weeks have been difficult.  We worked on how to get Adam and Jim into the game, different techniques to get them the ball.  It is no good having these players unless you get them the ball, if they are starved of possession. That's what we tried to do all week and thankfully got our rewards."

Assistant Manager Stephen Frail spoke to the media on behalf of Heart of Midlothian:-

"Whether it is the last minute or the first minute, we are extremely disappointed to be out of the cup. It seems that little bit sorer because it is the last minute, it is still a kick in the teeth to go out of the Cup especially being the holders.

"I don't know if it was a lack of desire, it is a worry if it is. We maybe never played as well as we can, we had the chances to win the game. They come back to haunt you when you don't take them. If we win the game no one would question the desire.

"It was always going to be one goal that would win it.  We didn't defend the free kick albeit whether it was or not.  We didn't defend it, they got the goal and we didn't.  In basic terms we didn't take our chances.

"With no disrespect to Dunfermline we should have the better players to come and win this game in the Cup tie in 90 minutes."

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