Dunfermline Athletic

Assistant Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 20th Apr 2017

20/04/17: SC - "It is a perfect situation, there is no concern over our shoulder and there is that slight opportunity going up the way.

Sandy Clark was pleased to discuss the implications of the Pars 2-0 win over Dumbarton last weekend. He told the website:-

"It was a great result. For the whole season we have had to look over our shoulder which is probably our own fault because of the draws we have had over the season.

"Saturday just about cleared that up for us so it was massive. The way the other results went, from the last three games we have a very very outside chance of making the top four. We are still ambitious, we want to hang on to that opportunity.

"It was outwith our hands obviously but it means that Saturday`s game is one in which we can really go for all three points and see what happens elsewhere."

Saturday`s opponents, Peter Houston`s Bairns sit second and they have plenty to play for as well. Sandy felt that he and his players were frustrated this season believing that they are better than where they are in the league. He would like to go and prove that against Falkirk on Saturday.

"It`s a Derby game and we haven`t beaten them this season. The last time we played them we didn`t really turn up. We were really disappointed with our performance that day. It was the first time that we lost in a long long time.

"We have been fairly consistent for a long time so it is a brilliant opportunity for us to make it up to the fans for that day and also, hopefully, keep us still challenging for fourth place."

Reminded that the Pars are overdue victories over their rivals, Sandy said that he could only relate to this season where there had been two defeats at The Falkirk Stadium and a 1-1 draw at home on Boxing Day.

"Look at any team in the league, including Hibs who are worthy champions, we know that we can beat any of them on the day. Falkirk is in that bracket, we want to put a marker down against them and take all three points for the first time this season."

Falkirk are definitively in the play offs and Sandy highlighted how their manager Peter Houston has been quoted over the past three months saying that he wants to be second.

"They recognise that second place means two games less that they have to play (in the play offs). That is their incentive, there is no doubt that they will be motivated. They will want to win the game for that reason and they will be really up for the match.

"Over the piece, it does make for a great game. It is a Derby game, our fans I hope will come along and get right behind the team. Falkirk will have big numbers and there will be a bit of rivalry off the pitch and we have to make it competitive and feisty on the pitch. Our aim is to do that.

"It is a perfect situation, there is no concern over our shoulder and there is that slight opportunity going up the way. That is the way that we have looked all season. We are going to continue being really positive and try to get the three points."

On the injury front John Herron and Nicky Clark both missed the Dumbarton match due to ankle injuries and there is a chance that maybe one might make it on Saturday.

"We got the three points last week without them but if you have good players you want them fit and available."

Other players stepped up to the plate in their absence last weekend:-

"Hoppy has had a really frustrating season from his point of view, unbelievably frustrating from Allan and myself`s point of view because we had him at Queen of the South years back.

"We know him as a player. He has incredible ability, he is so quick and I was really pleased for him when he scored the goal. We have that type of player in our squad that can make up for one or two that are out. He put a marker down last week and hopefully he can add to that in the last three games of the season." Sandy joked "he will be fully fit and the season will have finished."

Callum Fordyce, Lewis Martin, Ryan Williamson and Lewis Spence played in the Development League match against Hamilton Accies at Kelty on Tuesday afternoon. Sandy commented:-

"We don`t force anybody to play under 20s football. Some of the guys want to play others would rather train. I can totally understand the reasons for that. Those lads all played and they are all keeping themselves fit.

"We have got a big squad, a strong squad and everyone of them have been in contention to play all season. We need that healthy competition."

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