Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 28th Mar 2019

28/03/19: SC - “if we allow Moffat and Shankland in our half of the pitch then you are inviting danger.”

Stevie Crawford today expressed his disappointment that his side’s five match winning run came to an end against Dundee United on Tuesday night.

“I have watched it back and I don’t think there was much in the game. We watched the first half back in depth after the boys finished training yesterday and for as much as Dundee United were dangerous on the counterattack from when they scored the goal, we could have tidied up things in our own play that led to some of the problems.

“We have addressed that this morning in a brief meeting and not forgot what has brought us success in the previous five games. The beauty of football is that the Ayr game comes up fast and it is one that we are looking forward to.”

With no games from Saturday 9th to Tuesday 26th March had the enforced break worked against the Pars?

“Ideally we would have liked that game to have gone ahead on the Saturday. The Scottish weather beat us on the day but we are not going to use that as an excuse because the reality of it was that we were going to have to face Dundee United anyway.

“The disappointing thing is that we lost the game. That is it and let’s move on from it because if we dwell on it then it can have an after effect on what happens between now and the end of the season.

“In the victories that we had on that run, people had maybe said that it was not the most attractive way of winning football games but we had to change the mentality at the club to start winning games of football.

“I am on record as saying that nothing will change between now and the end of the season. We want to get into the play offs and to do that we are going to have to win games. That speaks for itself. We find ourselves outside the play off positions.

“Inverness won on Tuesday night, they won on Friday at Partick Thistle and our focus at the moment is on Ayr United. We have a chance to close that gap, it is in our own hands and we will be looking for a positive response.”

SC feels that this Friday night’s opponents are a close knit group with a togetherness of a group of players who have won promotion.

“I thought in the first half of the season they were very good, they picked up results that nobody expected them to. With Moffat and Shankland up front they are as good a two when they are on their game as anybody in the league.

“They have a solid back four, solid midfield four and McDaid can sometimes play a little higher. If he plays against us tomorrow night he has a bit of flair about him but if we allow Moffat and Shankland in our half of the pitch then you are inviting danger.”

There is no change in player availability with the longer term injured Sean Murdoch and Andy Ryan still out. Lewis Martin has made some progress over the last few weeks but is recognised by the manager as a player whose adaptability has been missed over the course of the season. Faissal El Bakhtaoui came on off the bench on Tuesday night and the gaffer feels that Faiss brings variety to the team:-

“He is enjoying being back on the training ground but Bruce Anderson’s arrival has given him a boost. For as much as it sounds silly competition for places means that there is no guarantee that either is going to play but they have hit it off personally. They stay together and bringing Bruce to the club has had a positive impact on Faiss.”

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