Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Friday

Friday, 5th Jul 2019

05/07/19: SC - “To be fair there were a few tackles that went in that had the coaching staff closing their eyes.

A swiftly arranged full scale bounce game this week has greatly benefited Stevie Crawford in his preparations for the 2019-2020 season. He told the website earlier today:-

“We have had a good week in terms of the training. There was a hiccup earlier in the week with the cancellation of the friendly against Dumbarton which is just one of those things but we put on a bounce game amongst ourselves.”

Two Dunfermline sides faced up to each other at East End on Tuesday night and every effort was made to try and mirror what a game situation creates. Some might question how competitive can these kind of games be but Stevie said:-

“To be fair there were a few tackles that went in that had the coaching staff closing their eyes. There is a slight concern that somebody picks up an injury but they all came through it.”

“The positive from the match was the GPS results in terms of the ground covered and the high intensity runs. They were very good considering it was a game amongst ourselves.”

SC explained what he read into the GPS results:-

“In a game you have to get up to a certain speed to try and get away from an opponent or if you are chasing the ball back. Sometimes at training it is hard to hit those numbers and that is what games throw at you. You try and introduce that to your training programme.

“When the Dumbarton game was cancelled at short notice, it was important for us to get out on East End Park and have the boys playing on the pitch itself, that brings a better intensity to it. It would not have been the same down at McKane Park had that been the case.

“So thanks to the ground staff, Kevin and Willie for allowing us to get on the pitch and have it ready for us. They had a long day after the cancellation of the Dumbarton game, they worked hard to get the game on for us making sure the grass was cut and the pitch was lined.

“The players have definitely benefited from it, it gave them a touch of the ball in a match situation. It was pleasing from that side of things.”

Matty Bowman (pictured above) returned from his trip south that had meant him missing the match at Forfar. He was back in training on Monday morning and was involved on Tuesday night.

“That is him settled, staying in the flat with Gabby McGill and Josh Coley.

“Danny Devine is back running with the physio. He is still doing his rehab with Kevin and John working in the gym but has been on the training pitch doing conditioning work as well. In a couple of weeks time, if he continues at the rate that he is, we might be able to start integrating him into the squad in terms of doing part training. It is all positive from Kevin and John, in regards to his recovery he is slightly ahead of schedule.

“I went up and watched the Arbroath v Hibs game on Wednesday night. I know it is still pre season but I thought it was a chance to take in Arbroath and get a look at them.

“Dick Campbell has put a good squad together and I’m sure that they will do well. Dick is clever, doesn’t suffer a fool gladly but when you look throughout the Arbroath team it is full of good honest boys some of whom have played at a higher level. There are boys who have played part time at a right high standard. I can see where the success has come from to win promotion.

“On the flip side of that I did some prep work on Hibs who come here tomorrow. Whether they play in the same manner or they change it up who knows. They flipped their side after 45 minutes.

“Listening to Paul Heckingbottom speaking I think he is going to give some slightly more tomorrow but then they have a game against Carlisle on Tuesday night where he can rotate it.

“It was interesting to just have a look at how Hibs play and the possible problems that they might throw at us because they are a very good side with a lot of competition for places. It will test us, but in a good way.

“The players will be excited and I think the fans will enjoy it. It is a test for us the coaching staff as well because we are coming up against players of a higher quality. It will let us see what problems that will arise from the game and also what problems can we cause them as well.

“I think it is important that we go about our business the way that we have worked on in pre season. If there are any problems to come of it, we can try and address them next week. It is on us to try and cause Hibs problems, be positive ourselves and create problems in their final third.”

Stevie said that the friendly will not be two elevens again:-

“We have got to look at giving boys more game time. If some are getting more game time then you have to look after others that are getting less.

“There will be a conditioning session after the game tomorrow to make sure that we are giving the boys the best opportunity, not as punishment, but conditioning to try and replicate what you do in a game. Gary will take the boys who don’t get as much game time tomorrow.

“It will give us an insight looking ahead to the St Mirren game which will be another challenge. The excitement now is that game is getting closer. We have a lot of boys coming in who are hungry to do well and stake a claim for that first game in the Betfred Cup.”

After the Hibs match there will be one further friendly against Kelty Hearts at New Central Park on Wednesday but that match is likely to be a predominantly young team. Stevie closed saying:-

“We have been fortunate not to pick up injuries over pre season and I think it is important that we stay together as a group going into the St Mirren game.

“The young boys have a game against Civil Service Strollers tonight. I would imagine it would be a majority of the younger ones who will play against Kelty.

“We will discuss and see what happens during the Hibs game, if we think anybody needs a 45 minute run out to top them up, that is something that we will not rule out.”

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