Dunfermline Athletic

Desire from Devine to right the record

Friday, 10th Jan 2020

“The boys will probably feel that we owe them one down there, because of the way the last game went.

Danny Devine admits that poor recent results have meant the club is hurting - the players, the staff and everyone. Due to surgery on his ankle he made a late return to action this season at the end of August but having now made eight starts and two appearances off the bench the 27 year old central defender says that it is good to be back in the team and good to get minutes but laments:-

“It doesn’t really help when you’re not getting results at the end of it. We’ll look to put that right on Saturday.”

Acknowledging the need for a consistent performance he stressed concentrating on the positives of the first-half against Ayr United last weekend:-

“Again, it was better in the first half. The week before, in the Alloa game, we were very good in the first half and created chances. Against Ayr they got the break of the ball for their goal, it was a bit unlucky but it’s 90 minutes you need to perform for and we’ve found that out the hard way in the last couple of weeks.

“It is up to us, we need to be more consistent over the full 90 minutes. We have been scoring goals but it just so happened we didn’t get any goals last Saturday and they got a crucial one. We’re bitterly disappointed about our second half, that’s something we need to improve on.”

Playing to the final whistle is never more pertinent than when going to play Morton at Cappielow. Late goals from Morton some in 90, 90+3 and 90+4 have cost the Fifers dearly in this away fixture and they have lost ten points from winning positions in the last five matches there. Danny recognised the record:-

“The boys will probably feel that we owe them one down there, because of the way the last game went. We actually scored quite late on and we thought we had the game wrapped up but football is 90-plus minutes and you need to keep your concentration for the whole game. It’s something we’ve struggled with in the last couple of games there but it’s something I’ve no doubt the boys can put right.”

There is no lack of belief that three points can be earned at Cappielow this time. Danny feels that it is a great opportunity for Dunfermline to go down to Morton, give it a right good go:-

“We feel we can go anywhere and win. Obviously it’s maybe a little bit tougher now, because we’re on a bit of a bad run but it’s up to us as players and staff to get ourselves out of it.

“You saw it after the disappointment of going out of the Scottish Cup. We bounced back pretty well, it’s one of those situations again. We’re all hurting, it’s not good when you lose four on the bounce, so the sooner we can put it right the better.”

Morton haven’t won at home since November but their manager David Hopkin has ways of getting teams to play for him and Danny has personal experience of this when Livingston caused Patrick’s relegation in the Premiership play offs in May 2018:-

“Some people might not like the way his teams play but he did unbelievably well at Livingston. He’s a manager who you can see that his players want to play for him. They fight for every ball and it’s never easy against any of his teams, which is credit to him and his players and the way they play.

“We’re similar in that we need to go down there and fight for every ball and second balls, do the dirty stuff first, and then hopefully our quality in the final third will win us the game.”

Danny watched the first game against Morton this season from the subs bench but played in the return at East End Park and also draws on his play off experience:-

“I’ve played against his teams before. They are very much full-blooded and fighting for every ball and second balls, and getting the ball forward and trying to put you under pressure.

“It’s something we have to be ready for. The boys know what he’s like and what his teams are like, we’ve played against them twice already, so we know what to expect. It’s never easy going there, so we need to be ready.”

Dunfermline suffered recalls to their on loan players this week with Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald going back to Hearts, Greg Kiltie going back to Kilmarnock and Andy Ryan went out on loan to Airdrieonians but Ethan Ross arrived from Aberdeen last week and Dom Thomas from Kilmarnock on Friday. Danny believes that if the inconsistency of three wins and four defeats in a row can be halted then Dunfermline can still do well this season:-

“I’ve said from last season when I first came into this league that if you manage to be consistent throughout the season you can do well. Even when you’re not playing well, if you can still pick up points, even if it’s a draw, then it can really help your season.

“You saw that last season with Ross County and you’re seeing it this season with Dundee United. They’re not playing amazing football but they’re managing to pick up wins and pick up points. Consistency is definitely the key to that. It’s up to us to try to put another run together.

“The teams in this league are very evenly-matched, I think, and you’ve seen with some results this season that anyone can beat anyone on their day. It’s just a matter of us concentrating on ourselves and trying to put a consistent run together.

“If we’re not playing well then we need to make sure we’re still managing to pick up points and hopefully we can start that against Morton.”

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