Manager on ThursdayThursday, 24th Nov 2011
24/11/11: JM - "The performance at Aberdeen was the worst of the season and we will be trying to make amends for that.
Jim McIntyre was pleasantly surprised after watching the video re-run of Wednesday night's match at Celtic Park:-
"We played exceptionally well in the first half. We passed the ball about well, got into some great areas and just didn't have the cutting edge. Obviously the two mistakes gave us a mountain to climb. It is disappointing that we have done that again.
"When you go to Parkhead it is easy to crumble when you lose two goals in the first twelve minutes but they didn't do that. They kept passing it and got into good positions themselves. What Celtic had that we didn't was that they had more of a threat at the top end; they created a bit more but having viewed their chances over again. There were one or two where they should have scored because they were good goalscoring opportunities but most of them were from outside the box."
What does Macca propose to do to try and stop the fatal mistakes being made?
"You can only show the players. They are honest but make mistakes; they know right away as soon as they make a mistake. You are talking about a young kid who has made a mistake who then showed great belief and great courage to then go on and play well. That for me is a major positive that I have got a 20 year old boy who has made that mistake on his first visit to Parkhead but he has then gone and run at players, got crosses into the box to try and get his team back in the game. That shows tremendous courage; I was really proud of Paul Willis."
The higher the standard, the fewer mistakes that are made. When Dunfermline have done well this season it has been when they have done the basics well. By doing that they have given themselves chances in the games and Macca claims that he feels like a broken down record because he keeps needing to point that out after games.
"There was nothing but pats on the backs for them last night for the way they went about it in the second half. I have been to the Old Firm grouinds when I have been on the end of a couple of hammerings and it is a horrible feeling going a couple of goals behind early. For me they kept passing, kept playing and we got ourselves into good areas, we just didn't have that final touch. Sometimes when you look back on a match where it felt like a doing but it wasn't a doing."
It was clear that Jim McIntyre set his team up on Wednesday night to have a go at Celtic. There was no suggestion of a defensive wall as they started out 3-5-2 and switched to a 4-1-3-2 meaning that two strikers were deployed at all times.
"I believed that we could score a goal. It is so important that you get the first goal especially against the Old Firm and you do the basics well. We never did the basics well last night and that's what cost us the first two goals. Having viewed the game back, the first thirty minutes for me were even apart for the two mistakes."
The players watched the Celtic match video after lunch and they could see that it wasn't the one way traffic that it may have felt at half time. Coupled with the stinging memory of a very poor performance at Pittodrie in the Friday night game the squad can have the confidence and the motivation to try their hardest to defeat Aberdeen on Saturday:-
"That was the worst performance of the season and we will be trying to make amends for that. We will be trying to reverse that result and get our first home victory."
Good news is that everybody came through from Wednesday night's match without sustaining any more injuries. Training will be light on Friday but the gaffer is optimistic that both Nick Phinn and Martin Hardie can be pushing for selection:-
"We could do with them. The boys who have been available have been doing great lately but we have had to chop and change systems just because of personnel -that's just the way it is sometimes. We could do with getting a few more bodies back just to help out those who have been playing."
Joe Cardle is one of those who has been nursing a tendonitis injury and he has come off the bench in the last two games and made valuable contributions:-
"He did well" agreed his Manager "but his final ball could be better at times. We have good players who can pass the ball and we proved that last night against a very good side."
The Manager lamented the handicap at grass roots level too:-
"We have not trained on the grass here for the best part of six or seven weeks; it is not draining properly and we are having to use our own pitch and the astroturf here which isn't ideal but lots of clubs have problems with training grounds and we have just got to get on with it."
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