Lee Ashcroft - Business FirstFriday, 9th Aug 2019
Ash still calls Allan Johnston gaffer because he has known him as such for that long.
Pars central defender Lee Ashcroft has got over last Friday night’s penalty decisions which everyone including broadcasters felt were on the harsh side. Of the 2-2 draw against Dundee he said:-
"At the time it was very frustrating the way the game ended. Obviously having such a strong first half we are just disappointed that we never got the three points that I think we deserved. These things happen in football, decisions go against you.
"We spoke about it at the time and have moved on from it now. You cannot alter it now, we just need to move on and go down to Queens on Saturday. We know that it will be a tough game down there but the boys are ready to kick on. We are over last week and ready for Saturday.”
The team can be confident if they can reproduce the style of slick play that made the armchair viewers throughout the nation sit up and appreciate what they were watching. On the park the Pars players were delighted with their performances, Lee called it “brilliant all over the park” and praised the strikers as “magnificent”. They all now hope that they can keep that up.
"It has been positive this week, training has been excellent so we are looking forward to a tough game again on Saturday. We know that we can go down there and get a result.”
Although ten new signings came in during the close season and the team showing wholesale changes with only two players - Lee and Lewis Martin - who started the last Championship match at Inverness starting the first Championship match of this season, it does seem that they have been playing for at least a season.
“There was a big overhaul over the summer but we were in early and had a hard pre season. One of the toughest I have done, so the boys are fit and flying. It has been hard but we have got through it. It is paying off in the games now, we are sharp and the boys have clicked so well so soon which is always positive.
"We will keep working on that. We have a good changing room in there, the boys are all together and the same with the management team. We are looking to kick on Saturday now.”
Statistics reveal that Dunfermline have not found Queen of the South the easiest opponents over the last three seasons with just three wins from twelve meetings - one each season. Lee who played in all those games confirmed:-
"We have been down there the last three years, it is never an easy place to go. The games are always tough but we just need to remain positive. It is a hard place to go, hard pitch but the boys are up for it and ready. If we can play the way that we did on Friday night we know that we are more than capable of going down there and getting a result."
Allan Johnston said after Stephen Dobbie had been forced off just ten minutes into the second half of the match against Dumbarton on 20th July, that his striker would be out for four to six weeks. Lee praised the 36 year Queens player:-
"His goals talk for themselves, he is a great player and a great professional. I`m sure that they will have players more than capable of coming in and doing a similar job.
"We just need to think about ourselves more than anything. If we are on our game we can go down there and get a result. It has been positive this week, the boys are ready and eager to get back out there and go again."
Another current Queens player likely to play is former Par Michael Paton, Lee continued:-
"I have played with Pates for a couple of years, he is a good friend of mine. It will be nice to see him again, he is a great player who did a lot for the club here. I am looking forward to playing against him now, it will be the first time that I have actually played against him.
"There are no friends out on the park. It is just about doing your job, try and do your best and get a good result.
"I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago but I keep forgetting that he is there to be honest. It will be nice to see him again and as you play against familiar faces every year now you get used to boys.
"We are just looking forward. The boys are eager to get going again after the disappointment at the end of the game on Friday night and not picking up the three points. We have moved on from that now and it is something to build on Saturday."
Another problem for Lee on Saturday will be remembering not to take instruction from his ex boss Allan Johnston:-
"This will be the first time that I have played against him and one of his teams. I have not actually seen him since he left the club. I still call him gaffer because I have known him for that long.
“He played a big part in my career. He had me at Killie and brought me to this club as well. I have nothing but nice things to say about him, he has always looked after me and done well for me.
"He is a manager who always gives his all and does a lot for the club. He works hard off the park and I get on great with him and Sandy (Clark).
"I have not got a bad word to say about the two of them. They have done great for me over the years. It is good to see them back in a job and hopefully they can do well for them.
"It will be nice to see them again but I will go out on the park and take care of business first before having a catch up after the game."
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