Dunfermline Athletic

Manager Post Forfar

Saturday, 15th Feb 2014

15/02/14: JJ - I am still a little peeved with the goals that we gave away but we scored four."

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Jim Jefferies was pleased with a win at Forfar but not happy with the two goals that his side shipped:-

"There was a missed clearance and big Callum Morris should have headed it after that which allowed the boy in.

"We had a couple of good opportunities before that to go 2-0 up. We never got that, they did. The second one was from a needless free kick to give away. From there we switched off again. How many times have we done that and allowed a quick free kick to be taken? Swankie has hit a great shot into the corner.

"So you think after what has happened to us up here in the past, is there just going to be a collapse. What great character we showed to come back and that's what happens when you bring in people like Forbes, who was magnificent today, Danny Grainger, Page was solid.

"They have given everybody a wee lift in games like that. Maybe with the inexperience they can go away from us, like at Brechin a few weeks ago but they showed great character and that wee bit of quality after they got an equaliser. They had their tails up and we had them under pressure.

"We did the right things in the second half. We knocked it a wee bit longer because the wind was holding the ball up and you could see Forfar benefited from that in the first half.

"A couple of times when they got through, the wind held it up. We just tried to get the message to them not to overplay it. You had to play it in the first half because the wind was strong but in the second half you could play balls in behind because it was holding up.

"With the pace; Wallace who wasn't at his best today, but certainly Faiss who after getting a goal caused them problems all day. When Shankland came on he caused them problems also.

Lawrence Shankland
Lawrence Shankland celebrates

"We set up the team the right way today. After going 2-1 down we changed it from a back three to a back four with Lewis Martin just sitting in front. Then when we got the third goal going 4-1-4-1. We changed the team a couple of times in terms of shape today and I think it paid off for us.

"We gave them something to think about. Iain Campbell will always give you problems because he has a great left foot. When Faiss was switched out to the right to make it a 4-1-4-1 we got a lot of joy because it stopped him getting forward. He had to go and defend against Faiss who was very lively today.

"Shankland can play that role upfront on his own. He holds it up, he is stronger. I left Shanks out because I wanted two smaller players. I didn't want them lumping balls up in the air and especially down wind when it would have suited Forfar's two big centre halves.

"For the first goal we got in behind them and left them for dead with the pace. I don't know if Faiss meant it but it was a clever bit of play.

"I thought Falkingham was better today than he has been for a few weeks. I know the reasons why but I will keep that to myself.

"You could see at East Fife and today, two difficult fixtures and remember we have been away from home for four games now. It has been tough but they should have won at Brechin as well. These are tough places to come but when we went to East Fife we looked really solid with the two boys coming in.

"We did that today as well. I am still a little peeved with the goals that we gave away but we scored four."

Faissal El Bakhtaoui celebrates goal v Forfar

JJ praised Faissal El Bakhtaoui for adapting to Scottish football and the difference in climate from his home in St Tropez. Faissal admitted after the match that had never played football with snow piled up at the edge of the pitch!

"He was just a young kid when he came in but we saw something in him. He had to adapt to the Scottish lifestyle. The key for us was getting him out of Edinburgh where he was sharing with big Michal (Hrivnak) who was another foreigner. It wasn't ideal but he has moved to the Dunfermline area and mixed better with the boys. He is learning, picking up good habits and some bad habits but we will not go into that!

Faissal El Bakhtaoui v Forfar

"We saw something about him in training so we gave him his full debut at Stenhousemuir where he repaid us with a goal. He was missing for a couple of games (due to a red card v Stranraer) and last week I just left him out to let the new boys come in but he will do a good turn for the club. He is only 21 and there is much more to come from him. He is quick and he is sharp but he did show inexperience in the first half when could have laid the ball off to Forbes who was right through but he took it himself. He knows he should have laid it in. He worked hard for the team and for such a slight small laddie he won a few balls in the air. He has a good spring in him.

"We have a good squad and it was the first time today that I have left some out. When you see the players that have been left out, never mind stripped. You have to balance up and it also creates competition for places which is great.  Maybe when I can get this (play off) place consolidated I can play maybe different teams to keep them fresh for when the play offs come round. Thats the idea; lets go for it in the next three or four games, get in the play offs and then maybe I can rest one or two of them so that we are ready for them.

"We are not there yet so we will do what is needed first and that is keep winning. I think the teams below us all lost points so it is another step towards it. We have two home games now but Arbroath went down to Stranraer and got a point. Ayr is always a tough one but if we play like we can play then we will give teams a tough time."

Stephen Husband v Forfar

Andy Geggan sustained a foot knock in the first half and had to retire just two minutes into the second half.  His replacement Stephen Husband scored the equaliser in 69 minutes.

"Hubby came on and repaid us with a great goal. He played well when he came on, that is competition for places. We have a good strong squad; Thommo is still to get back to his best form, Allan Smith is just coming back from a virus; they will get some training and a game this week (v ICT Wednesday afternoon in Dingwall)  to help them because they will all be needed in the run in.  It is always good for the team to freshen up.

"I said today that even if we won it didn't guarantee that it would be the same team next week.  That is what you want, I want to be in a situation where every player in the first team will go in and not weaken the side. I think we are getting there."

Forfar manager Dick Campbell reflected:-

"We managed to pull it back from 1-0 down to 2-1 up and we were in our comfort zone.  We hit the bar right after and hit the post at 2-1. Husband scored a great goal, a great finsh and they got an own goal against the run of play. Dunfermline have gone from 2-1 down to 3-2 up. With twenty minutes to go we were on top of the game but Dunfermline reverted to 4-4-2 because they know that they are under pressure, constantly under waves of attack. Then for the last 15 minutes we do not defend properly and Dunfermline finished the game well.

"At 2-1 up I could not see Dunfermline coming back at all without giving them the opportunity to come back, which we did. We let ourselves down." 

MATCH PICTURES

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