Dunfermline Athletic

Stevie talks away the fear

Tuesday, 31st Dec 2019

31/12/19: SC - “I don’t want players having a fear of being scared to make mistakes.“

Danny Devine picked up a knock in training last Friday the day before the match against Alloa. Efforts to ice it up failed and he didn’t even get to the fitness test stage. As a consequence 19 year old Josh Edwards returned to the team and Lewis Martin moved in to centre half beside Lee Ashcroft.

With the match at 1-1 Josh was unfortunate with a clearance and as a result Alloa went ahead. His boss, Stevie Crawford, has discussed the anxiety felt by the gutted youngster whom he signed from Airdrieonians in July:-

“He doesn’t make a great clearance at Alloa’s second on Saturday but when it came off the Alloa player (Liam Buchanan), Kevin O’Hara was offside. It was a double whammy. I’m not saying that is why we lost the game, far from it, but the harsh reality is when Josh has cleared that ball it connects with the Alloa player.

“We had just lost a goal five minutes earlier. You cannot put your foot through it, albeit it is not a pass that is attractive to the eye but we are not picking the ball out our net.

“It is creating a culture where we have suffered from it, but there is not a fear that players feel that they can progress. It was maybe Josh on Saturday who suffered more than most and there will be somebody else later on in the season who feels that way as well.

“I know he is hurting, I spoke to him on Monday and I thought that it was important to speak to him right away. We have to make sure that he wants to learn, that is the important thing.

“If he doesn’t want to learn and he hides away from it, then we are in trouble. He has got it off his chest, I have asked him to go away and think about it and if he needs to speak to us as a coaching staff to come back and ask questions.

“We have brought in players that we think there is potential in. If there are individual mistakes or situations like that over the season, I don’t want players having a fear or being scared to make mistakes.“

Having been in a tight position in terms of defensive options it now seems likely the manager will soon have plenty. Danny Devine should be fine by the weekend and two longer term injured are aiming to return as well:-

“We have competition for places, we had a bounce game on Monday which Euan Murray and Tom Lang have managed to come through.

“I know Tom has been on the bench due to circumstances which was probably not fair to him in terms of where he is with his match fitness but the pleasing thing was that they both completed sixty minutes.

“It is not a case of trying to accommodating those returning to fitness, it is picking the best eleven and making the right substitutions that allow you to win a game of football.

“We are on a run where it is not good enough and we have got to put out what we think is the best eleven or eighteen to allow us to beat Ayr United.”



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