Manager on ThursdayThursday, 26th Mar 2015
26/03/15: JP- "We will be trying to lift the crowd and in turn they will give us a bit back to help us win the game."
John Potter has warned his players that Saturday's opponents Morton have players who can do serious damage to the Pars promotion hopes. That warning is no surprise since Morton have won all three of the games between the teams and the last time the Greenock team visited East End Park, they captured all three points with a late smash and grab act. Speaking exclusively to this website the Pars manager discussed his experiences against Morton this season:-
"I thought we played very well in the game here but it was the same story again. We were one up but never took our chances and lost two late goals when we got caught too deep. I thought we were a bit unlucky but we should have won the game.
"Through at Cappielow we played really well for an hour. We had good chances in the first half but didn't take them and they won the game. I wouldn't say it is payback but it is an opportunity to make up for them beating us three times this season. We feel that we should have done better in at least a couple of them. We didn't do that and it is up to us to and do it on Saturday."
Declan McManus and Peter MacDonald form a formidable striking partnership for the team who are just one point behind league leaders Stranraer. Potter pointed that out as a big incentive for the 'Ton to be trying hard to win.
"They put out a very attacking line up last week, whether they will do the same again we don't know. These players can hurt you, so we will need to be wary but they will be saying the same about us.
"As long as we keep it tight at the back, like we did on Saturday with a clean sheet for the first time in a while which was pleasing, and stay switched on to their lively strikers then we can hurt them as well.
"Both teams will be out to win and it should be an exciting game. It is a very important game and the crowd always turn out in numbers. They have been supportive throughout although they have been frustrated and disappointed at times. They have let their feelings known but we are disappointed and frustrated as well but we are still in a position where we can still do what we started out at the beginning of the season.
"It is up to us to try and get the crowd on their feet- excite them, try and start the game properly. I think we are good when we start the game properly and get on the front foot, play with intensity and quick purpose to try and score goals. I think that is when we are at our best and we will try and do that on Saturday. We will be trying to lift the crowd and in turn they will give us a bit back to help us win the game."
Ryan Wallace has been counted out for the season and this Saturday Lewis Martin is missing since he is in Austria with the Scotland Under 19s. Lewis has made 28 appearances for Dunfermline this season and his gaffer was keen to point out that he had been part of a defence that has been undefeated in their last four matches.
"He will be a miss. It is great for him because he is away with Scotland and we want that for our players. Obviously it is difficult for us because we have got to try and replace him. We have got players like Stuart Urquhart and Declan O'Kane who has been doing really well in the under 20s. They will be fighting for a place and I can change the shape as well."
On Thursday night Lewis Martin was an unused sub in Schwechat-Rannersdorf as the Scotland Under 19s defeated the hosts Austria by two goals to one. Potter continued:-
"I am delighted for Lewis, I spoke to him last night and hopefully it will be a good experience for him."
Experience is something the Pars manager feels he needs in his team as they try hard to make the play offs. It was for that reason that he signed Andy Barrowman from Morton in the January transfer window:-
"I thought he was good on Saturday, he constantly talked David Hopkirk, Faissal and the midfielders through the game. He linked the game well and did his defensive side when he needed to as well. He knows the game, he is a clever footballer and he knows what he is good at. He did it on Saturday and did it well.
"He wants to go and score goals as well and it is up to us to try and create more chances for him. It will be important that he is playing against Morton, the team he was at earlier in the season. He came to us because he wanted to, he enjoys it here and he will be desperate to go and do well and try and score goals."
Three points on Saturday is the target and John Potter stressed how important it is to keep winning games if they are going to get where they want to go:-
"It is up to us to keep being positive and play on the front foot Three points would be nice and it is up to us to go and try and win the game.
The manager confirmed that his 18 year old keeper Jamie Wilson has joined Berwick Rangers on loan until the end of the season.
"Colin Cameron phoned me when their first team goalkeeper got injured. He has been to watch a few of our under 20s games this season and he asked me about Jamie. They have another goalkeeper who is playing but Jamie will be considered. It is not an automatic choice who plays so he is going to get involved in the first team and the match day experience whether on the bench or playing."
Berwick Rangers has more former Pars players on their books than any team in Scottish football so Jamie will not feel lonely. Jason Dair is the assistant to Cameron and other former players at Shielfield Park are Paul Willis, Craig Dargo, Kerr Young, Ross Drummond and Blair Henderson. Potts added:-
"I told him that it is a good opportunity for him and he will still be training with us and train with Berwick on a Thursday night. He was on the bench on Saturday last, hopefully he will enjoy it and get a few games.
"Jamie has done very well for us recently in the under 20s but some first team experience either on the bench or playing will be great for him.
- Preview Morton
- Dunfermline 1 Stirling Albion 1
- Stenhousemuir 0 Dunfermline 1
- Academy Award for Fife Elite