Manager on ThursdayFriday, 9th Aug 2013
08/08/13: JJ - "East Stirling was a good pointer of what will happen and we have got to be ready for that.
After East Fife taking Morton to extra time in last Saturday's Scottish Communities Cup tie and because of the experience in the Bayview team, Jim Jefferies is wary of the trip to Methil for the first league match of the season.
"It is just something that we are going to have to face, like a lot of teams, there will be lots of experienced players in this division. We have to learn to handle that, cope with it and I thought that we have done that so far.
"I have heard that it is a right good pitch so it should be a good football game, so we need to go there and try and get off to a good start."
The gaffer is appreciative of the assistance provided by Dundee United to provide three players on loan and one on trial to alleviate the predicament imposed by the transfer embargo on the club:-
"Hopefully it can help the long term futures of those on loan players. They have come to help us out and they have all settled in well. We have played a lot of younger players who will still feature in the under 20s this year like Ryan Williamson and Lewis Spence. I have had a look at them in pre season and I would be confident in putting them in if some of the boys cannot play through injury or suspension."
Reflecting upon 23 years of age Callum Morris as Dunfermline's oldest player in the opening match of the season, JJ continued:-
"It is good because we have everybody training together and we have a decent squad of young boys. Against Cowdenbeath our oldest player on the pitch was only 23 years old, the rest were all 19s or 20s."
Neil McCann's friendship with Jackie McNamara has assisted Dunfermline with a pre season friendly and the three on loan players:-
"We brought in Ryan Ferguson initially and when we said that we could do with another two boys, he recommended Luke Johnston and Jordan Moore. We appreciate the favour. Sometimes when you take in a loan player it is difficult, they feel that they are coming here to get a game but they will have to battle to get into the team here as well. Jackie was happy with that because he has his set number for the first team in training but at least at Dunfermline they will be training with the first team. We are helping him as well by hopefully bringing these boys on."
Another possible addition could be Robert Thomson who has recently departed Dundee United but the management team will watch him again in the Under 20s next league game against Rangers on Tuesday evening, a match that will be played at the Bet Butler Stadium, Dumbarton.
"I have said to his agent, Tommy Callaghan that I would make a decision by next Wednesday. He has done well. The game against a junior team was not one to gauge him in so we brought him in for training and then did well enough in the under 20s on Tuesday night against St Mirren, for us to want another look at him."
The Manager is well aware and has warned his players that in this league they will not always be allowed to play the way they want to play:-
"East Stirling was a good pointer of what will happen and we have got to be ready for that. We are not going to win every game but we have to take that on board that we are going to be a big scalp just because of the name alone. We have to be well prepared for that.
"Rangers are massive favourites to win the league with the money they have spent. The game is live on television now and all the players that they have signed will be playing by then. We will relish the challenge there, it will be a good test for us. It is a wee bit away yet but we have to go into that game as one of their closest challengers. Because of the set up with play offs we have got to be up there challenging."
Acknowledging that if Dunfermline can be successful this season it could be difficult holding on to their better players, Jim Jefferies praised the commitment shown by his players:-
"One thing that you are going to get from this team is effort and commitment. Hopefully we can get the breaks and be up their challenging at the end of the season."
The Manager has not yet received notification on what Stephen Husband's punishment will be for his 90th minute red card in his comeback game from suspension against St Mirren U20s on Tuesday night. On the injury front Josh Falkingham is touch and go for Saturday:-
"He had a scan and thankfully it didn't turn out to be any ligament damage. He got a real bang on the knee and the bruising is coming out now. It depends how it settles down in the next 48 hours. He has a chance and we would like to have him. If not then there are plenty games coming up in August when he has to be right. If he breaks down then he might not be available for the next games. There will be a big improvement by tomorrow and so we will leave it to Saturday morning."
On the upside for the Manager, Josh's enforced 27th minute substitution provided more game time for Andy Geggan than had been expected.
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