Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 14th Nov 2019

14/11/19: SC - “If that is the question, that is what we want at this club. We are trying to progress players, make them better

Manager Stevie Crawford admitted he felt deflated by the defeat at Alloa last Saturday but took positives from the manner of the defeat in which his side created more goal scoring chances.

“We created more goal scoring opportunities and on another day enough chances to win a game of football.

“You have got to be ruthless at that end of the park to take them. We know as a group that we could have defended the goals that we lost better.

“We lost two bad goals on the day. We are not going to single people out but collectively we conceded the second goal from a set play where we made a couple of wrong decisions. It is something that we can work on on the training ground and get better at.”

One thing that the manager feels there is no lack of is effort and he has science to back that up:-

“We have covered the game on GPS. It is interesting that in the three of the four games where we have covered the most ground have been against Alloa.

“That is because of how expansive Alloa play. They overload the middle of the park and they are going to cause you problems at times. We had double figure number of chances to score goals.”

Stevie feels that the description perpetually tagged to Alloa Athletic - part time football team - is a misleading slur:-

“They are actually a very good football side, they have good players there. If you look at their squad they have played a good amount of games at that level.

“They have beaten Dundee United at home this year but on the other hand they have lost quite heavily to Ayr United and Dundee. When you look at the league at the moment there are nine points between bottom and the play off place. That shows how tight the league is, nobody is detached although Dundee United have pulled away a little at the top now but on any day anybody can beat anybody in this league.

“The run that we were on, for the competitive league that we were in, was a decent run of games where we were building up a bit of confidence and momentum.“

Asked if he was concerned about the Pars ability to hold on to striker Kevin Nisbet given the interested reportedly being shown by other clubs, Stevie smiled at the question:-

“If that is the question, that is what we want at this club. We are trying to progress players, make them better and I don’t think Kevin is the only one who has improved in a short space of time since coming to the club.

“It is pleasing that Kevin is scoring goals for us but off the park we are also seeing things that he is improving on as well. If he is attracting attention, that is for other people to talk about. As I say he is not the only one who is improving and bringing positivity to the club.”

The reference to the off the park improvement was in the main all about maturity.

“He is 22 years old and like anybody, maybe took what seemed like rejection from Partick Thistle where he maybe never got an opportunity. When you are young sometimes there is that bit of an arrogance that you think ‘am I ever going to get my chance, I wasn’t dealt with fairly enough’?

“He found himself at Raith Rovers last year and had a really successful season in terms of his goals return. The pleasing thing that I have discussed with the coaching staff and briefly with Kevin, is the way that he dealt with getting dropped / rested whatever you want to call it against Dundee United.

“He came on in that game and never showed any petulance. He goes into the next couple of games and hit that bit of form in terms of his goal scoring. That is all you can ask of players because of Kevin does it then it drip feeds to the rest.

“We spoke about Andy Ryan around a month ago with the difference in him when he was coming off the bench and then he forces his way into the team. It actually brings a togetherness so credit to Kevin, he has stepped up a league and he is scoring goals but he would be the first to say that it is others round about him who are helping him as well.”

Did anyone impress in the reserve match at Kilmarnock on Monday afternoon?

“When we look at the reserve fixtures, the previous week going into a reserve game (against Dundee United reserves) I didn’t want to split the group on the back of a couple of good results and a heavy week. We decided to keep the group together and the older ones didn’t need to play, we didn’t feel that they needed the game.

“Then this week with the game against Ayr United being off it was right to get minutes into boys legs. It was a collective decision from the staff to go down to Rugby Park with a strong team.

“Sometimes that is never easy because these boys come in on the Sunday when other first team boys are off. To be fair to them they worked hard in the session we put on at McKane Park.

“You still want to win games of football, Greg (Shields) will want the reserves to win games of football but the important thing was everyone coming through that game (against Kilmarnock) without picking up any niggly injuries. It gave the boys game time that are chapping on the door for the Stranraer game.”

On the injury front SC gave an update:-

“Euan Murray will see the consultant in a couple of weeks time and before that he will see the specialist just to make sure where he is at. It is just ticking the box next week to them go and into the next.

“Following a hamstring injury, Tom Lang has come back into training with a tiny tiny bit on his left thigh that has left him out for a couple of days. He is back running now. Other than that there are maybe three or four boys, I’m not going to go into any individual names, who have been playing through aches and pains during that period where we had three games in the space of two weeks.

“It will give them a week to recover and just make sure they are conditioning by ticking over in the gym. They will maybe spend three or four days off the training pitch.”

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