Dunfermline Athletic

Mark warns Wasps can sting

Friday, 14th Sep 2018

“We need to go out and make sure that we are a threat going forward, creating chances. We really need the three points to kick start our season.”

Mark Durnan is the Pars player who has possibly faced Alloa Athletic the most recently. While at Dundee United last season Mark not only played but also scored the first of United’s goals in their 2-0 win at the Indodrill Stadium. He recalled:-

“I scored in the first half to go one up. They are a difficult side. I watched excepts from their games, I always like to look at who we are up against. They have done well, they are compact, they are solid and make it difficult for teams.

“They have quality going forward and score from a free kick last week against Dundee United to make it one each. It was a bit of quality from one of their players so they will be a threat and we will need to be on our game. We need to go out and earn the right to win the match.”

The Dunfermline squad are usually shown match report and videos of their next opponents on a Thursday or Friday but Mark claimed that most of his colleagues do their own research on top of that:-

“We know what to expect in terms of shapes and at set plays. You try and sussed out your opponents, I think most teams do that now in our league. It is a very professional and you need to know who you are playing.”

The players have fully recovered from their Irn Bru Challenge Cup expedition to Hertfordshire, Mark classified it as “an interesting one” and all about getting a positive result on this welcome break from the league campaign

“You don’t expect to have to stay overnight to play a team from London in a Scottish Cup tie. We have been letting in too many goal but we took that game very seriously.

“There wasn’t a lot in the match but we won it on penalties so it was good get it out of the way because it was a long travel but I’m sure that the fans who travelled there enjoyed it. They certainly made their voices heard, it was a great support.

“The clean sheet was massive for us. Obviously there were a few changes, a change of shape because Danny (Devine) got injured in training and Ryan (Williamson) was away with the Under 21s so there was always going to be a change of shape.

“We were solid and I don’t really remember them having too many chances. It was good to get a clean sheet and it is all about building on that and trying to do that again in the league campaign but we need to be more of a threat going forward, we need to score more goals.”

Mark said that he was comfortable with the change of shape from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2:-

“Of course, I have played that for the last couple of years. It was more comfortable and I think that told with them. It having many chances at goal. We need to keep the door shut at the back and making sure that going forward we are a threat.”

Mark has played in the Championship now for years now for five out of the last six years. He feels that you cannot give any of your opponents any chances:-

“It doesn’t matter who you are playing whether it is a newly promoted team from the league below to a title contender. Any chances you give away you are going to be punished. That has told over the games where we lost cheap goals that we hadn’t been doing against stronger teams from the SPL in the cup.

“It has been frustrating but it all about building on that and taking Saturday’s clean sheet against Boreham Wood into this weekend. Every game is important but Saturday is massive because we are at home and we need to go out and make sure that we are a threat going forward, creating chances. We really need the three points to kick start our season.”

The Pars sit eighth as they take on ninth placed Alloa but don’t want to lose any more ground on the league leaders. Mark continued:-

“Anybody can beat anybody in this league. There have only been four games but no one is running away with it. We need to build momentum to be up the top of the league towards the end of the season. It is important that we start picking up wins.”

The gap between Dunfermline in eighth and Ross County at the top is just six points and Mark pointed out that can change with a couple of wins.

“We need to be focussed and not carried away that we have lost a few matches. We need to make sure that we get the right result and going forward and be more consistent.”

This will be the first of a minimum of five times that Dunfermline and Alloa Athletic will meet this season following their pairing in the next round of the Irn Bru Cup. Mark added:-

“I don’t know if the fans are happy because they were looking for an away trip. A home tie will be decent for us, it means you are not travelling away and missing out on time with the family.”

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