Return to ExcelsiorFriday, 1st May 2015
01/05/15: John Potter spoke to the website on the eve of the last match of Dunfermline Athletic's season.
He said how disappointing the season had been and how disappointed he was with all that had gone before but the team needs to go out at Airdrie with that put behind them.
"Obviously it has been a difficult week but we are as prepared as we can be and will send a team out to try and win the game. We would like to finish the season off on what would be a small high."
Opponents Airdrieonians have provided a win, a draw and a loss in the three previous matches this season but the Diamonds have continually proven to be one of Dunfermline's bogey teams. Potts acknowledged that following a bad start they have been on a good run:-
"They have picked up a lot of points with good wins. They will want to finish the season on a high but so will we. We still have the option to change about a bit and give players an opportunity to get out there and play. We know that it will be a difficult game but we will be positive and try and score goals."
After East End Park more Dunfermline matches this season have been played at the Excelsior Stadium than anywhere else, John hoped that could work to his side's advantage:-
"We have played a lot of under 20s games there this season. A lot of our players will be used to the stadium but Airdrie are on a good run at home. The AstroTurf suits teams that play on it at home, they get used to it quite quickly but we should be used to it too. I think that we should be a good team on the kind of surface.
"If we play like we did for the majority of the game last week and cut out the mistakes then it is a game that we can go and win."
Asked to comment on the statement released by the club the previous day, John said:-
"From a players point of view, Saturday was obviously quite low and then coming in to the last week nobody really knew what was happening with their own situation or my own situation as well. It did take a wee while to get going but there have been a couple of under 20 games to keep our minds going and still prepare for Saturday.
"After the players got over the disappointment of last week I had a chat with the players told them that they had to keep going and finish the season on a high. From then training has been good and positive.
"For myself it has been difficult but it is your job and you have to be professional and try and win the game on Saturday."
The outlook for next season with Neil McCann leaving after tomorrow's match and John Potter himself returning to a coaching role, will remain unclear until a new manager is appointed. John continued:-
"I have worked alongside Neil McCann for the past three years so it will be different but the club has made a decision. You respect that and it is something you have to look forward to. For me it is very much about learning. I am quite new to the coaching / managing side of it and you learn with whoever you work with and I will continue to do that.
"I have learned an awful lot in the past four months about myself, about people, about what I think it takes so hopefully in the long run it will be a great experience but it has been difficult at times but you have got to move on. I will do that with whoever the new manager is. I will be working closely alongside him and hopefully it is a positive experience and we can get the club back up to where we think it belongs."
In adversity people do find out things about themselves and so that can be a positive to come out of the last four months as well:-
"I stayed strong and focussed I stayed in difficult times because it was that. In the first few weeks there were highs and lows with results but I learned pretty quickly that you have got to get back to business and try and you are the one who has to try and pick the players up.
"From a results point of view it has not been good enough we know that. I will accept that but I have learned in these tough times. There are things yes that I would probably do a bit differently but I think everybody would be like that.
"You just need to keep going, learn from it and I think I have learned a lot about what it takes to win this league, about players in certain situations as well and that is something that I will keep and hopefully use in the future."
The players who are out of contract are left in a situation of limbo.
"I have talked to them all over the past two days and basically told them my thoughts on what I think and what I will be reporting to the new manager about certain players but at the end of the day it will have to be when the new manager comes in.
"Whoever comes in I think will probably know the players that are here. I will give him my thoughts and give him the DVDs to watch and decisions will be made. It is a difficult time for the players who are out of contract, I understand that. They are now free to go and sign elsewhere, they can do that if they want."
Returning to the match at Airdrie, John said that he was disappointed with some of the performances last Saturday against Forfar Athletic:-
"How some of the goals went in disappointed me but I was delighted with the reaction in the second half. They could have not shown any fight but they didn't do that. They kept pushing and pushing, deserved the goal and probably more. The Forfar people said after it how well we played in the second half. That is the way I wish it had been all season but it hadn't. The players who played didn't do themselves any harm and will be involved this weekend again."
Lewis Spence is still sidelined with injury so it will be the same squad as last week but with the addition of David Hopkirk who has trained this week having recovered from illness.
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