Dunfermline Athletic

Steven Whittaker on Thursday

Thursday, 11th Nov 2021

11/11/21: SW - “we’ll still believe we can go up there and get a result. We’ll do our preparation and go there with that intent.”

Looking back on Saturday’s match against Morton, Steven Whittaker believes that there were signs of positivity that can be taken from the game but the result just continued the disappointment of the Pars season.

“We have tried to assess that and do a bit of work on it this week. On Saturday, we will look to eradicate some of the goals that seem to have been part of our play this season. 

“The second goal is the disappointing one. It’s from a corner and, while you can accept losing the first touch at times, you need to anticipate and defend your goal after that.

“Morton got three touches in our box before a Dunfermline player. That is how it ends up with a goal. We are looking at those details and the boys are fully aware that part of our game has to get better.”

As is the norm the video of the match was scrutinised and everyone was involved in the search for an answer. Steven continued:-

“As a player, the video work allows you to see the visual of it. Sometimes you can feel differently in a game to what the pictures show, so it’s just about showing the players the differences between the first and second halves. 

“We were fluent and played some nice stuff probably box to box. We had some good combinations in the attacking areas but we lost that in the second half and it got ragged.

“You always want to correct errors in the shape and attacking play, but we also want the boys to feel good about the positive parts of the game. It’s about having that mixture within your analysis.  We showed them the good play, the chances we created and the opportunities that didn’t end in shots or crosses. There were certainly good things in there.”

In taking on Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday, Steven is hoping that the team can replicate some of the play that helped them contain the then league leaders when the teams met at East End Park on 18th September this year:-

“I think that was one of our better performances of the season. There were positives to take from that game, for sure. I know they are up towards the top and we’re at the bottom but in this league, anyone can beat anyone on any given day. So, we’ll still believe we can go up there and get a result. We’ll do our preparation and go there with that intent.”

That preparation will be without Vytas Gašpuitis and Kai Kennedy since both are away on international duty with Lithuania and Scotland U21s but Steven confirmed that Iain Wilson was only missing from last week’s squad due to strength of numbers:-

“Iain’s fine. He’s been building himself up and has come off the bench a couple of times and got some minutes. The issue is we’ve got a squad of 24 bodies. The physio has done a grand job of keeping everyone fit!

“So, we’re constantly fighting against who’s the best personnel. We’re searching to put the best team out there that we think can win a game of football. And the subs are chosen according to the way the game might go or the attributes of that individual.

“So, Iain missed out at the weekend there but that doesn’t mean that will be the case this weekend. They all trained and that’s their platform to try to put themselves in the manager’s thoughts, whether that’s us or whoever. That’s the way it should be.”

Having been handed a role in the caretaker management team when Paul Heckingbottom left Hibs, Steven Whittaker’s appetite for coaching was whetted by a 4-1 win against St Johnstone in November 2019. He claimed that it is a bit different this time around:-

“At Hibs, I was still playing but I was asked to help Eddie May and Grant Murray - another pair of eyes. I enjoyed that role as a senior player. I still trained with the squad during that week then went into the coaches meeting with the staff.

“It was a good learning curve, but this is far more full-on.  We are interim managers and we are planning. There is a lot more to think about but it’s a challenge. There are a lot of hours, which comes with the job - I’m not complaining - and we are trying our best to try and prepare the boys and try to get the victory which the club and the fans all want.”

Hear Steven speak to Jordan Burt on ParsTV

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