Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Monday

Monday, 28th Oct 2019

28/10/19: Stevie Crawford’s thoughts ahead of Tuesday night’s home match against Arbroath.

The Dunfermline Athletic players were in for a recovery day on Sunday and trained this morning at Kelty. Manager Stevie Crawford has had a chance to watch again Saturday’s game against Dundee United and agreed with his post match assessment that, for as much as he was disappointed with the two goals lost, there wasn’t much between the side in the first half.

“I did say after the game on Saturday that I was conscious of maybe being a little indisciplined trying to get a goal back that we then lose a third. We got in at half time two goals down, re-grouped and got our focus.

“I was delighted with the manner that we went about the second half. I thought our shape was very good, we created chances, the boys worked hard to the final whistle. The only thing that we didn’t get on Saturday was the break in front of goal.

“If you look back at the Ayr United game and there was a response which is pleasing. When we went 2-1 down, obviously Ashy scored that wonder goal but the boys were keen to try and get the ball back right from the ball going in and go on to get that winner which we did.

“Yes it will be a tough game against Arbroath, they have won 3-1 at the weekend away to Partick but if we can apply ourselves in the manner that we did against Dundee United and take the confidence from the home victory over Ayr United I am sure that we can win the game tomorrow night.

“We have got to take confidence into the game. The disappointment ends at the result on Saturday but the confidence has got to be there. Dundee United knew that they were in a game at the weekend, they are sitting top of the league and our last home performance against Ayr United was a very positive one.”

Turning to Tuesday night’s match Stevie said:-
“Our game up at Arbroath was played in difficult conditions, the game was decided on a moment in the game where we were attacking from a throw in in their final third and they have hit us on the counterattack.

“It is something that we addressed at the time that we have to deal with better. We must not make ourselves vulnerable in those situations. That is the challenge that we will address and we can look at that from Saturday as well. Look at the goals that we lost, collectively what can we do better?

“We have to snuff out Arbroath’s threats when they are going forward and then create moments for ourselves to cause more problems than we did when we were up at Gayfield.

“They come here on the back of two victories. They are sitting above us and credit to them for where they are currently sitting in the league. They have started the season well but do we focus on Arbroath? We want to be higher up the league, we have a big game against Arbroath tomorrow night and Queen of the South on Saturday. We need to take care of the Arbroath game first and fully focus on winning three points.”

Arbroath were promoted out of League One in the last season and like Ayr United the previous season appear to have successfully made the step up to the Championship. Stevie suggested that this came about through a quality that he has been trying to create at Dunfermline:-

“I think the reality is when you have a squad of boys together and you win a promotion the knock on effect from that is a togetherness in the group. I said at the time I don’t think Arbroath have added too many to their squad, in the main Dick has kept that squad that won promotion last year.

“He has added a few and knowing Dick it will be what he sees as the right types but confidence comes from that. It can be hard sometimes to get rid of a negativity that is hanging about, one of the pleasing for ourselves that somebody brought to my attention is that the Ayr game is the first time that Dunfermline have come back from a goal down to win a league game at East End since September 2016 (v St Mirren 4-3).

“There is something, not just the home victory, it is getting that momentum. Arbroath have managed to do that this season and credit to them. But we have got to look at ourselves. The boys are disappointed that we have not taken anything from the Dundee United game but we can use that as a motivation to make sure that we go into this run of games, to get more points in the league.

“I said on Saturday at the Black and White Ball that I want an honesty. I genuinely feel that if you look back at our performances this season, have we got the results that we wanted in every game? No, but there is an honesty in the performances.

“There was disappointment in the first half against Dundee United here. I didn’t have the same feeling at the weekend when I look at that performance albeit the result was the same outcome, if we can get that honesty throughout the place then I’m convinced that the team spirit and togetherness comes with that.”

On player availability SC said:-

“Lewis Martin took an impact injury on Saturday where there was a bit of swelling. It improved yesterday when we were in for a recovery session. There was a big improvement in it, we will monitor him, he did not train today but we will give him right up until the game. He can do a fitness test tomorrow at lunchtime. At this moment it is touch and go whether he is going to be available to us.

“Matty Todd is still a number of weeks away with his ankle, we are getting there with Lewis McCann the frustration is if this wound opens up again. He is itching at the bit to get back in.

“Joe Thomson will hopefully get an hour in the game organised against Civil Service Strollers on Wednesday night. He came through the Celtic reserve game in good spirit and did really well in the game.

“Because it is a reoccurring ham string injury, Tom Lang needs to have confidence in his own body as well, so he is back doing conditioning with Gary McColl and Kevin Bain. We will see where he is at in the next week or so.”

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