Dunfermline Athletic

Managers Post Stenny

Thursday, 2nd Jan 2014

02/01/14: JJ - "I loved it the other week when he missed a shot that went over the bar and he went 'oh naw!'

Jim Jefferies

Jim Jefferies believes that to win against Stenhousemuir without several of his key experienced players speaks volumes for his squad:-

Listen to this Jim Jefferies interview after win over Stenhousemuir

"I was worried about today's game because it was just two days after playing Rangers where they had put a lot of effort in. We had some key players missing and I had a gut feeling yesterday when I told Neil (McCann) and John (Potter) that on this surface and with the way we play, Faze as we call him - not El Bakhtaoui - could do well. He has been doing well in twenties games and I thought that if we didn't give him an opportunity at a time when he has been doing well then he is just going to lose heart. "

It was Faissal's first start in the first team and the 21 year old rewarded his Manager's belief in him by scoring the opener just 13 minutes into the match:-

"What a terrific goal he scored and before that he put a great ball through for Wallace in the opening minute, his turning was good and I don't think he wasted a ball all day. His timing and spring in the air against some of those bigger boys, getting flick ons; I thought he had an excellent game and I am delighted for the laddie.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui v Stenhousemuir
Faissal El Bakhtaoui celebrates his goal

"We brought him over a couple of years ago and just saw something in him. He had never played eleven a side football, he had played Futsal."

The Manager then gave a brief summary of what Futsal is. That can be expanded as follows:-

Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is Portuguese and can be translated as "hall football". It was developed in Brazil and Uruguay in the 1930s and 1940s as a solution to the lack of available football fields. In Brazil futsal is played by more people than football but does not attract as many spectators as the outdoor sport. Several futsal players have moved on to careers as successful professional football players and so it is hoped that Faissal El Bakhtaoui can do the same.

Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football due to the surface of the pitch. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces. Jim Jefferies had been alerted to Faissal's skills by one of his contacts in France, he continued:-

"We thought that he had something but we had to give him time to adjust, he could not speak a word of English. I loved it the other week when he missed a shot that went over the bar and he went 'oh naw!'. So he is learning and picking things up great."

Faissal El Bakhtaoui

When Dunfermline brought over he was sharing a flat in Edinburgh along with Slovakian keeper Michael Hrivnak and Italian midfielder Ivan D'Angelo but since they left he has moved into accommodation in Dunfermline that he shares with Callum Morris.

"That has been a big plus and he is near Josh Falkingham, Alex Whittle and Allan Smith. They are all in Dunfermline and he gets well looked after in terms of the boys keeping his spirits up. There are not many boys who move from Saint Tropez to Dunfermline and settle very quickly!

"Credit to the boy, he has kept his head up and we have given him wee bits and pieces. He was a bit disappointed that he did not get on against Rangers but I was always thinking about this game and he repaid us today for the faith we showed in him. He certainly has a lot of talent and he is learning the game better.

"He may look slight but he is a strong wee boy. Hopefully he will keep his feet on the ground, not get carried away because he will not play every week but he will be there or thereabouts. He has given us something to think about."

Jim Jefferies

JJ's team was already recognised as young but with Faissal replacing Josh and Ross Drummond coming on for Alex Whittle that trimmed another two years and nine months off an already low total number of years in the team. The gaffer had praise too for his replacement left back:-

"Ross Drummond has come on for Alex and I thought he had an excellent second half once he got up to the pace of it. I thought about throwing Ryan Thomson on but he has just had half a training session with us and thought that Chris Kane would be better if we wanted to tighten up a bit by going 4-1-4-1. They were getting a wee grip (of the game) but I thought the only way that they were going to score was through a corner.

Chris Kane v Stenhousemuir
Chris Kane's first appearance since August 2013

"They had some big boys up against our young kids but we dealt with it great. Lewis Martin was outstanding today again and for a young team in that second half they withstood a lot of pressure from some of those big physical boys.

"Stenhousemuir must be sick of the sight of us because that's the third time on the trot that we have scored in the last minute. We started the game really well, got a goal and missed an opportunity to go a couple up. We were just shaded in the second half, which you expect at home. They are a decent side but we keep going, nothing phases us. If we are goals down we just pick ourselves up and go again. That is a great thing to have.

"We said before the game that this could be a massive result and given that we played two days ago and with the players that we had out - experienced players like Josh Falkingham, Thommo and Callum Morris - they are the ones that you need. Even though they are young players and inexperienced, they are more experienced than the ones that we have got in reserve. To win without these players speaks volumes for the squad."

MATCH REPORT: Stenhousemuir 1 Dunfermline 2

Listen to Stenhousemuir manager Martyn Corrigan's post match comments

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