Dunfermline Athletic

Manager First Day Back

Thursday, 25th Jun 2009

"We will be trying our best to be the best we can. We know that it will take time with some of the younger lads but I feel that we have a squad there that is capable."

New Faces for 2009-10

PICTURES FROM DAY ONE
Dunfermline players went back to training on Thursday with a double session. It will be the same again on Friday, Monday and Tuesday with a single session on Saturday.

Jim McIntyre welcomed four new players to his squad and is expecting to make Steven McDougall the fifth:-

"I think it was apparent last season that we struggled for any natural width in the team. Losing Kevin and Simon was a severe blow to how we try to play the game. I like to set the team to get it wide and play attacking football. Bringing the wide boys in with Willie Gibson, Joe Cardle and Steven McDougall - we also have David Graham who can play there or up front. Young Paul Willis hopefully will be pushing for a place so that gives us very good options."

Following the departure of Greg Shields, Scott Thomson and Scott Wilson Macca has signed just two central defender replacements:-

"Obviously we needed centre backs with three leaving. We have brought two in but we also have two full backs who can also play centre back. We will have four to choose from at full back as well. Scott Muirhead and Austin McCann can both play there; I thought Austin excelled at centre back last year when he played there. Scott also did well in one of the games but I see him more as an attacking full back whereas Austin is an out and out defender. He has been a defender all his days.

Training Day One

"Calum Woods was fantastic at centre half any time he stepped in so that's the reason I have gone for more players in the wider areas rather than adding defensive cover. We are taking a wee bit of a chance but when you are running with a smaller squad you have to take a wee gamble here and there."

A smaller squad needs flexibility and the Manager feels that Cardle, Gibson and McDougall could all swap wings and David Graham will provide an alternative to Graham Bayne and Andy Kirk in attack.

"It also gives me licence to change the shape from a 4-4-2 into a 4-3-3 very easily. Last season I had to play either Jamie Mole, Steven Bell or Rory Loy in that wider area. That was not really their position but we knew that. In certain games it worked and we played really well but you tend to find when a player plays well they will say 'I love that position' but then the first time they don't play well they are saying 'that's not my natural position gaffer'.

Training Day One

"Now we have players who can be played in their natural positions and also we have five players to choose from in the centre of the park. Stephen Glass will be staying and his contract has another year to run. I am happy to have Stephen here, he is a player that I'd like to keep anyway."

Jim McIntyre is really looking forward to the new season. He feels that he has a younger side that he freely admits can go for or against you:-

"I have chosen to sign players who I feel can do a job for Dunfermline and at the end of the day that's what a manager is judged on."

Training Day One

It seems increasingly unlikely that the Manager will be seen on the park as well as in the dugout in future:-

"I tried to get my fitness back in the summer but my achilles was sore - I am really at a crossroads at the minute, we are doing more rehab on it but the bottom line is - when you are managing a team it is difficult to do both. Of course I want to keep playing, I still think I can offer something but it has been over a year since I have had any sort of run of games. That is a long time and until I feel right I will just concentrate on the Manager's job out there."

Is there a risk that the loss of experienced players could impact on the side?

"Experienced players are hard to find but we still finished third in the league; we had a couple of great cup runs and there were just as many mistakes made by young boys last season than there was experienced boys. You just never know, time will tell with that one. Will we miss the experience of Dinger, Shieldsie and Scott? Of course but some of these new boys that I am bringing in are 24 and 25. They have played a few games, it is not as if they are coming into it blind.

"They know what the league is about and it is important to get them up to speed about what this Club is all about and the expectation levels. We are certainly not going to be saying that we are in the mix for the league this year, we will be trying our damnest to do as well as we can but we are in a massive transitional period. In the last couple of years a lot of players have come and gone, if anyone thinks that means that in any way or form we are going to settle for second best then that is definitely not the case.

"We will be trying our best to be the best we can. We know that it will take time with some of the younger lads but I feel that we have a squad there that is capable."

There will be no pre season training camp away from home this year. Friendlies will be at home or close by and the bulk of the pre season work will be done at Pitreavie.

""We play Stirling on 8th and we have yet to announce a game on 11th but we have two possibles up our sleeve. Then we play Dundee United, Hibs before it is into Arbroath at home in the Challenge Cup."

With Ayr United and Inverness Caley Thistle back in the First Division, league fixtures will see the Pars pulled to all corners of the country. The Pars gaffer singled out Caley as serious competition but added that Brian Reid's Ayr United would be an unknown quantity:-

"They have some decent players. I saw them play against Kilmarnock in the cup last season and they were very unlucky. They are a hard working side with Mark Roberts up front who knows where the goal is and I could see them doing OK. The derby against Raith Rovers will bring a great atmosphere to the ground and that is something that is important."

When the league season kicks off with the home fixture against Terry Butcher's boys Macca is certain that his side can hit the ground running:-

"It is all about getting a good start although if you look at St Johnstone last season - they had a terrible start then went on a twenty game unbeaten run. That shows how important it is to keep believing in what you are doing. We are looking for a good start since we have three out of the first four games at home.

"It is up to us to get some results and put the fans in a positive frame of mind. I'd hope that they'd show a fair bit of patience in giving them time to settle. The players have got to handle that because fans are the same all over the country.

"We know that we are not favourites this year, we have an inner belief that we can do something and with a bit of luck ...."

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