Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Monday

Monday, 2nd Dec 2019

02/02/19:- Stevie Crawford’s little arrows

Kevin Nisbet’s double double on Saturday may be have been a response to a defeat to his boss on the dart board. At least Stevie Crawford was joking today about a wager that came back to bite as a result of his assistant Jason Dair’s benevolence.

Stevie feels it is important to have positive relationships with his players he explained:- “It is interesting with Kevin, we have a couple of dartboards in the players’ lounge and it sometimes gives you an opportunity to have conversations.

“I played him a game of darts the other day and I said ‘if you beat me I will put £20 into the players kitty for the Christmas night out. Likewise if I beat you, you put £20 into the staff kitty’.

“Lo and behold I beat him so he came in on Friday morning with the £20. Jason Dair went and opened his mouth and said if you score a hat trick on Saturday we will give you your money back.

“I don’t know what way we want to look at that. I don’t know if there is method in the madness there and whether we should do that with certain players every week.

“It goes down to relationships. I thought that he was exceptional at the weekend. Probably disappointed to come off because he felt that he had another goal in him but we have to look at the bigger picture.

“He probably was in for the last half hour of the game practicing on the dartboard. Joking aside, it is too important a week for us. We have got ourselves nearer to the play off positions again, albeit we have not climbed the league, but I am really happy with getting three points on Saturday.

“It was very pleasing. Having looked back at it, getting the early goal settled a few nerves. Then the positive play, the energy, topping it off to be 4-0 up at half time was very pleasing.

“It shows that it matters to people as well. I don’t want to keep looking back at the Stranraer because life is all about moving forward but we are going to have highs and lows throughout the season.

“It shows that there is a belief in there with the players that we are a club that is looking to develop players to kick on and look for more highs than the lows that last Saturday brought.”

The attacking threat provided by Ryan Dow, Kevin Nisbet, Andy Ryan and Greg Kiltie was re-united and Partick Thistle were just unlucky to be on the receiving end.

“When you look back at the first goal on Saturday, Greg Kiltie - what he is doing out on the right hand side when we are playing him left of a four? He steals the ball, Andy Ryan is probably filling in for him on the left hand side and I think you have got to give your creative players licence at times.

“There is not many of them complaining about them doing that. I do think that we do look like a genuine goal threat. There will be bumps and bruises on the way and we will have to take a few on the chin over the course of the season but we are looking like a team that have goals in us this year. “

With the result achieved by half time three substitutions were introduced in the second half with Paul Paton, Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Dow excused the full 90 minutes.

“Kyle Turner hadn’t trained all last week and Ryan Dow until the Friday, they had done a bit of running on the Thursday. Both of them had knee knocks from the Stranraer game but they both made themselves available. Kyle will probably be frustrated that he has not got on the park at the weekend but that is a decision that I made myself.

“We have two big games coming up against Ayr United and Morton and I just felt that it was right to give Kyle another day or so to get over it. It gave an opportunity for Harry Cochrane (above) and Joe Thomson (below) got on the park after a long time out. It was great for the fans to see him back and Joe will have enjoyed getting back on the East End Park surface again as well.

“Gabby McGill (pictured at foot) works hard every day but we are now looking at, with the exception of a few, a full squad to choose from. That will hold us well for the season now as well.”

The gaffer’s update on Ryan Scully was that he is being monitored daily:- “I just need to keep speaking to my medical team on that one. We will see where we are at over the next couple of days.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday night’s match at Somerset Park, the consequence of Ayr United’s match being frozen off on Saturday means that fourth place is possible with a win. SC continued:-

“It is not an easy place to go. Dundee United have opened up a lead at the top but I don’t think that there is much in the league. Ayr United gave us a really entertaining game when we played them here at East End Park.

“They are a real threat going forward and they have players who can hurt you so we will need to make sure that we manage the game in that sense but it is pleasing the reaction that we got and the chances that we created. More so in the first half to hold up hope for the season.”

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