Dunfermline Athletic

James grateful to the Jags

Thursday, 27th Sep 2018

James Craigen graduated from Edinburgh University to Partick Thistle

Pars James Craigen was an opponent that last time Partick Thistle visited East End Park in the league (wearing no.16). It was just three weeks away from the club going into administration, morale was low and the Fifers went down to an embarrassing 4-0 defeat. He claimed that he had three great years at Partick:-

“I loved it. This is the first time since I left that I have played against them. Obviously the same manager and a couple of the same players as well. I know them quite well.”

Partick was the bridge that took James from student football to senior ranks when Jackie McNamara signed him at the age of 21.

“Jackie gave me my chance back in the professional game. I owe them a lot, going in there from university. It was a great three years and obviously we got promoted in the first year as well.

“There are quite a few untapped players in higher education but you don’t see them often progressing. It is just managers going to watch different games to try and find someone with a bit of talent. I am just glad that they did.

“I was playing for Scotland Universities and that was a select side, against Partick Thistle reserves which included half the first team. My good friend Conrad Balatoni was playing and we beat them 7-2.

“People like Danny Denholm, Gavin Malin used to play and Gary Warren played in the British uni team. There are a lot of students who have gone on to have successful careers. They were good times.”

Contrast possible to the recent league form at Dunfermline whose draw at Cappielow last time out he described as “a sore one to take.”

“We were disappointed, I think we deserved the three points. I think it was a good performance from the team, it was just one of those things with the error from Robbo. We win as a team, we lose as a team and outfield players can have errors quite a lot of the time but if the keeper makes a mistake it is costly. Robbo has been brilliant for us this season and last season as well.”

James survived the changes from the Alloa game to the Morton game and his utility is no doubt a major part to play in his selection. He felt that conceding only one goal in the last three games was certainly a case for the defence.

“We must be doing something right. I just need to adapt to the positions I am put into. It is good for myself and good for the team.

“We are under no illusions, it is going to be a tough game but we now need to turn the draws into wins. If Partick were to win they would go into second. Three points shoots you up the league and if you put two together it is so so tight.

“We are not panicking or anything like that. Last week we were solid defensively and going forward we were in a lot of good areas and there was an improvement from the week before against Alloa.

“There were a lot of shots on target and we could maybe have scored a couple more but we will definitely take the positives, that is what we have been working on all week just to build on that.”

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