Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 26th Dec 2019

26/12/19: SC - “We never won the last time here against Alloa and went through there and lost, they are a team that we have to do better against.

Stevie Crawford is disappointing to have taken no points from the last two games but takes heart that at the second quarter is an improvement on the first quarter.

“We got ourselves into the play off positions but just slipped out of them. That is where the disappointment comes but I don’t want it festering. Our home form has picked up, five wins in a row and the challenge ahead of us is Alloa who we have not managed to beat this season.

“There is always a goal to try and get better and improve in life and we have to address that one come Saturday. We never won the last time here against Alloa and went through there and lost, they are a team that we have to do better against.

“Alloa come on the back off four defeats as well, they are going to be hurting and we have to be wary of it. But also we need to fix things that we are hurting from at our end having not won against them this season.

“They came up and in the division last year were very competitive. They are a decent football side but we have to apply ourselves properly. Looking at the Dundee game I didn’t feel that there was much in terms of the game, it was an open game of football where we looked a genuine goal threat.

“On Saturday it was slightly different, I thought Inverness managed the game very well and you could see why they are sitting in second place in the league.

“We had worked on being more compact after the Dundee game where it was very open. We were compact but the problem being was that we ended up sitting too deep.

“We were inviting too many crosses where you get the feeling that if you are having to defend cross after cross from around about 18 to 20 yards out then the inevitable will happen.

“We tried to address it through the first half and unfortunately we lost a goal from a cross. Just trying to be brave, push a higher line and allow us to be more of an impact in the final third in the opposition half.”

To lose the second goal on Saturday was particularly disappointing. The goal came from an Aaron Doran corner sent over from the left that Jamie McCart rose to loop his header over everyone to find the net at the left upright. Stevie continued:-

“It was a ball back across the goal, it took a wee bit of time to come in. It comes from a setplay and yes over the course of the season you are going to lose goals from setplays. We have lost one at the weekend so it is something that you look to address as quickly as possible so that doesn’t drip feed in and cause you further problems.

“It was a bad goal to lose in any game, it is not nice to lose a goal from a setplay. It has happened, we can’t change that and it is just about working on things like that to nullify them.

“I know we had lost the Dundee game but Inverness were in a similar vein of form to ourselves. We have come away from Inverness disappointed to have lost to a team that is sitting second in the league. I would much rather that was the case than going to play somebody lower in the league and coming away with a defeat.

“That is not accepting it, it was disappointing that we probably didn’t create enough goalscoring chances at the weekend. The one thing that Inverness did was make us change our shape during the first half. They managed to pin us back and were getting too many crosses into the box. We were having to defend.

“There were things that we addressed, things that we can do better but we will not get too despondent about losing a game to an Inverness team that is sitting second place in the league. They are going well themselves, we had no divine right to go there thinking that we are going to go up there and get three points.”

Anthony McDonald came on as a 62nd minute sub against the team he was on loan to last season. Stevie appreciates his directness and viewed his Pars debut as a positive:-

“We initially put him on the left hand side. The frustration with Anthony has been trying to get him up to game speed where he can start a game for us. I thought that it was a positive introduction for him. Then we put him over on the right hand side to cut in on his left foot and try and play wee passes whether it was to Kevin Nisbet or Andy Ryan. In terms of what he produced we were happy with it.”

Asked if there was any further clarity on the loan deals of the two Hearts players, Anthony McDonald and Harry Cochrane, the gaffer replied:-

“There is ongoing communications with us but we are not any clearer whether they will get called back or they will remain with us. That is just something that will be ongoing between now and January.”

How about the other loan players?

“Obviously Josh Coley is down the road at Norwich. There is an injury concern so he is getting looked after at Norwich City. Change of management at Kilmarnock means that I have touched base with James Fowler a couple times but where we are at with Greg is similar to Anthony and Harry.

“One thing I must stress is that we have to make sure that we are doing our homework, making sure that if anything happens with the on loan players going back. Inevitably it is a possibility but also if there are any players out there that we think we can added to the squad to try and help us going forward.”

Specifically asked about newspaper reports suggesting Dunfermline interest in Rangers Jamie Barjonas, Stevie answered:-

“It is not my place to talk about individual players but in terms of any player that has been mentioned out in the press that is news to me.”

Regards injuries the manager reported a few aches and pains from the trip to Inverness:-

“I don’t think there is anything glaring to suggest that we are going to be missing anybody on Saturday other than the hamstring injury to Tom Beadling. I have not had a chance to speak to Kevin Bain on that one. The weekend might be too early for him.

“Other than that I don’t think there are any concerns and we have Euan Murray and Tom Lang training with the boys this week. Fingers crossed hopefully we have a full squad to choose from.

“Greg Kiltie obviously comes back from suspension, he was a miss and I don’t like saying that because it is like you are having a go at the players who tried to go up and get us a result. Greg has been great for the squad since coming in and he was a miss with his cleverness and his intelligence to hold up play and linking play. He will be a welcome addition back for the weekend.”

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