Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 11th Jul 2019

11/07/19: SC - "I don`t think that there were signs in the Hibs game that we were lacking in terms of fitness.

Stevie Crawford reflected on his final pre season week describing Saturday`s home defeat to Hibs as a good test for us":-

"The coaching staff were happy with a lot of things in the first half. We were tested in the second half by a good side that caused us problems that we have been able to look at.

“Our focus through pre season since the draw was made was to concentrate on the St Mirren game. We are very much looking forward to it, we know that it is going to be a test but one where we hope to go there and cause them problems."

After all the changes in personnel, SC feels that it may take his side time to gel. He explained his thinking:-

“Sometimes what you take from pre season games can be dangerous - you can have a great pre season and then go into the competitive matches and find that there are problems elsewhere.

“The boys have done a lot of conditioning work, the majority have covered every day, every session which is pleasing. We had the hiccup with the Dumbarton game getting cancelled but the Forfar game and the Hibs game were testing. Two good games to lead us into the St Mirren one.

"The disappointing thing about the Dumbarton cancellation was that we had discussed as a staff over the summer, do we take three games or four games in pre season?

"We had a bounce game amongst ourselves over at Civil Service early in pre season and we thought that the three games were the right amount and then the League Cup games would take you into the league campaign.

"It was thrown at us that the Dumbarton fixture wasn`t going to go ahead, so you try to have a competitive game. It was great that Kevin and Willie were out there working on the pitch and we managed to get a decent bounce game amongst ourselves.

"I don`t think that there were signs in the Hibs game that we were lacking in terms of fitness. Every team is at different stages in pre-season, is there a right way and wrong way to do it? We will analyse that at the end."

Several players have moved up from part time football to full time football how they adjust is a challenge to each and everyone of them, SC agreed:-

"Some boys will find that a challenge, some boys will find it a challenge coming from full time football if they have not had a pre season.

"There are different ways, different methods and I must credit the players for the application that they have had in pre season.

"We are not going to get carried away promising the world and ending up with egg on our face. There is an energy from the squad and we are looking forward to the test on Sunday. We will see where we are at come the end of the game on Sunday."

Sunday`s Betfred Cup opener has the added interest in that it is the first St Mirren match in the Jim Goodwin era:-

"Jim has had a good spell at Alloa and having been a player there before he will be trying to get the most out of his players. I`m sure that he will want a good start to his management career there.

"I`m wanting a good start for Dunfermline and I`m sure the supporters will be looking forward to it and will be through there to back us."

Commenting on his player / squad availability Stevie reported:-

"Danny Devine did a little bit with us again, we are hoping that next Monday or Tuesday he will be back doing a good part of the sessions with the boys. He is slightly ahead of schedule and apart from that (and Joe Thomson longer term) we have a full squad to pick from.

"It will be good for Danny to join in, he is doing some conditioning work and it is not as though he is going to be ready for the games but we thought that would be nearer the start of the league campaign.

"He has been operated on over the summer, he has done a lot of the rehab himself over the summer with John (Porteous) and Kevin (Bain). Gary (McCall) is now working on the conditioning side. He will be behind in that respect but we are delighted that he is slightly ahead of schedule to put pressure on boys for places soon."

Stevie confirmed that he is still looking to sign a wide player with a bit of flair but is no further forward on that.

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