Dunfermline Athletic

Kevin Harper Post Saints

Monday, 21st Jan 2008

"The Manager asked me to go at their defence when I came on, just get wide and get balls in the box. That's what I'm all about,

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Kevin Harper returned to the team as a second half substitute.  The winger, signed from Stoke City for the start of this season, has missed all but one match of the Jim McIntyre reign so far.  That one match at Partick in mid December has been his only appearance since the beginning of September and after putting in only two days training he was a bit of a surprise to be involved against St Johnstone:-

"I only came back to training on Thursday, but needs must, I suppose.  We're down to the bare bones really.  I've been training with the physio and I trained with the boys Thursday/Friday so it was a surprise but I'm glad it happened.

"I'm just disappointed with the result. The Manager asked me to go at their defence when I came on, just get wide and get balls in the box.  That's what I'm all about, but unfortunately for us as a team it wasn't to be.

"I thought we deserved the three points to be honest. I think goals change games. They got the goal and they had something to hold on to. You've got to give them a bit of credit, but over the piece I think we were the better side.

"On the balance of play we deserved to win. They had a few breakaways as we pushed on, but until that I felt we created the most chances. Everybody misses penalties. It's unfortunate. If that had gone in it would have been a different story. But you know, Mark's scored a lot of goals for us recently, he's been in a rich vein of form.

"It was unfortunate, but at the end of the day I think we had other chances as well, it wasn't just that chance. It was one of those days, we could probably have played until tonight and still not scored.

"We had another penalty claim but it's always difficult for referees to give two penalties in one game, especially for the home side. We've been on a good run. We need to get over this because we have a game on Tuesday and go on another run.

"We're disappointed, but we have to dig deep again and hopefully go on another run from now until the end of the season."

St Johnstone right back, Gary Irvine praised the Pars performance and is hoping that the rejuvenated Fifers can assist pegging back Dundee and Hamilton:-

"It was good to come into then dressing room after a tough game and hear that results elsewhere had gone for us. Hopefully that gives the two teams (above us) notice that we aren't down and out yet, but we need another couple of wins still to claw it back. We're within striking distance of the two teams above us.

"You saw how good a team Dunfermline were today. They were attacking in waves for much of the game and we dealt with that well. They could give us a help because they have to play the two teams above us."

It was Gary's challenge on Mark Burchill that caused Referee John Underhill to award the Pars a penalty.  Understandably he did not think the award was justified:-

"With regards to the penalty there was minimal contact. I was trying to get across to cover for one of the defenders. I felt a touch on the shoulder but I drew away, but he's a wee guy so maybe he blows over easily.

"You can look on it as clever play by him because he's trying to win the game for his team and maybe if he'd taken another touch I'd have got there. As a defender it's frustrating. I put in the effort to get there and he went down."

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