Manager on ThursdayThursday, 14th Mar 2019
14/03/19: “Bruce Anderson has a knack of not having to be involved in every minute of every game yet when chances come he anticipates them.”
The feel-good factor from winning the last five matches is something that is important to Pars manager Stevie Crawford . He told his Thursday media conference:-
”We are pleased that we are not seeing any signs of complacency which is important. Dundee United will be coming down here on the back of two defeats. I know that Robbie (Neilson) will have his players ready for the battle.
”They will be very much focused on taking points back up the road to try and catch Ross County. Equally as I have said before we are now looking at Ayr United above us and trying to gather momentum to try and catch them. It all adds to an exciting game.”
It was not that long ago that Dunfermline were looking upwards to try and get to fourth place in the Championship but another two good results could take them even higher.
”Seriously when I look at it, we have closed the gap on Ayr United to three points with a really good victory and performance last week. That will be our focus, a result against Dunded United would be great because it would close the gap on them if we get a positive result against them. If we start looking too far ahead, that is when you can run into trouble.
”I know the way Robbie works, he will not be happy after two defeats. He will want his players hungry to prove a point. We have to respect what they are and what they will be coming down to try and achieve.
”We have focused on ourselves this week and the togetherness that we have shown in games. There are no signs of boys getting carried away with the way results have been in recent weeks.
”If you don`t lose goals, you don’t lose games. I have heard it many times, when you are going through a bad spell, experienced guys will tell you to try and shut the back door. We managed to do that when we went to Morton, we have built on that and confidence is slowly but gradually coming into the team.
Having watched the Alloa game back, I don`t think we got the credit for the football we played. Alloa did sit deep and we highlighted that they would try to get into the final third to get crosses into the box. Probably what we were lacking was getting on the end of crosses in the first half especially. The football leading up to it was very good when I watched it back.
”These are small strides on that side of it which is pleasing. The togetherness and the boys wanting to do it for one another, is one of the main reasons why we are where we are at the moment and long may that continue.”
The East End Park crowd should be boosted on Saturday with Dunfermline supporters expected to turn out full of optimism that they can see their team inflict defeat on Dundee United. Stevie commented:-
”The fans have been terrific and when they see the players giving their lot they do come out in numbers but you have always got your hard core support who have been through good times and bad times at the club. They are your mainstay and the ones who have been absolutely terrific in what has been a sort of stop start season.”
Dundee United always provide tough fixture, but on Saturday hopefully it can be one in which Dunfermline can compete. It is likely that with three goals in the last four games the Pars on loan Don can be a major influence. SC continued:-
”Bruce Anderson has a knack of not having to be involved in every minute of every game yet when chances come he anticipates them.
”i said on Saturday that there were seventeen passes before the ball found Bruce. He takes a touch when a lot of boys would have let the ball bounce, he just has that instinct to hit the ball early. The keeper was absolutely rooted to the spot. It doesn`t matter what goalkeeper is in goals, if you have that awareness and ability to do that.
“He is a typical striker with an eye for goal but he has come down to Dunfermline to play first team football. He knows that he is not guaranteed first team football here. He has had a good grounding at Aberdeen and we are grateful that Aberdeen allowed him to come to us to try and progress his career, Bruce is adding to his game.
Stevie stressed how the player is adding to his knowledge and experience in men`s football, while equally the club is benefiting from him scoring goals. The group have taken to him, he is a bubbly character and he wants to score goals.
”When games are going against you, you have to earn the right to get up the park. You are not always going to get the best service in a game. It is trying to position yourself to where you are putting centre halves off, making wee runs and always showing for the ball. Wee things like that get you further up the pitch. Then you end up scoring more goals or the team getting more chances from it.
”Yes, he has done great since coming in. There are reasons why he is down at us from Aberdeen, they have good quality in attacking positions. It is our responsibility to try to add bits and pieces to Bruce’s game and treat him like one of our own as well.
”Bruce and Ryan Blair are willing to be part of the group, willing to learn and take things on board, so that is refreshing.”
On the injury front, Aidan Connolly will miss a few games with a groin problem. Faissal El Bakhtaoui will return to the squad after returning to training this week. Other than that there was no news of great progress on Sean Murdoch, Lewis Martin, or Andy Ryan.