Sandy Clark on ThursdayThursday, 30th Mar 2017
30/03/17: SC - "we have enough within the club to win the game but we need to earn it. It won`t be easy for us."
It was Sandy Clark who spoke to the media this week. He and Allan Johnston watched Saturday`s opponents Hibs draw 0-0 with Morton on Wednesday night. He said that he enjoyed the game and commented:-
"Hibs are in a great position and regardless of what Neil (Lennon) says, they will win the league, there is no doubt about that. Morton have had a brilliant season to consistently do well week after week. They showed that last night.
"Thinking back to Saturday, great credit to our guys for going down there and we thoroughly deserved to beat them (Morton). They are a good team and it is a compliment to us that we managed that.
"The story of our season has been drawing too many games. I don`t mean that in a bad way, sometimes a draw is a good result if that`s what you deserve. There are too many times like the Ayr United game here, where we missed two penalties near the end.
"Games like that when we have drawn but should have won. That is why we are where we are. We had ambitions of trying to challenge for the top four but because of that we have always had to look behind us and make sure that we are okay there."
Sandy claimed that ambition was not lost but it would now be very difficult to challenge for the top four. He admitted that there was still a need to be alert to the division tightening.
"You have to be very wary of what is going on below you but you have also got to be confident of where you are. The result last time we went to Easter Road we gave them two goals of a start and should have won the match.
"We are good enough to beat anyone in the league so you have to believe that when you play all the teams. The ones above you and the ones below you. It is a tight league and everybody can win a game against anybody else. That is the way that it has worked out right from the start of the season."
Taken back to the incident at Easter Road on Wednesday night, Sandy smiled when asked if he had been involved in similar incidents. He replied:-
"As you get older, you get a bit wiser. With experience you do not get involved with anyone else unless there is an absolute reason. We try and look after own team, that is our priority. Whatever the other team do is up to them, as long as they don`t interfere with us, then let them get on with it."
Hibs are ten points clear at the top of the league with six matches remaining. As cup holders they are in the semi final of this season`s Scottish Cup and judging from the passion shown at the end of the game on Wednesday Neil Lennon will field a team at East End Park that Dunfermline will have to be at their very best to beat. Sandy stressed:-
"To have the right to beat them we are going to have to play well, capitalise on any chances that we create. We are going to have to defend as well as we are capable of doing, like we did last week against Morton.
"If we get all that right then we have enough within the club to win the game but we need to earn it. It won`t be easy for us."
Sandy challenged the term unlucky when coupled with some of the Pars recent chances:-
"In life and in football you make your own luck. There are times when, not just the strikers, anybody with a good opportunity to score a goal, if you do well enough you will get the goal. You have to be really positive, sometimes it can be a good save, a good tackle but for me you have to make your own luck. When the chance is there you must finish it off.
"I am not one to call it unlucky. They have to be really committed and really clinical in front of goal."
On the injury front Lewis Martin has trained all week but this Saturday`s match might be just a shade too soon for a return. Long term injured, Ben Richards-Everton is working hard with physio Kenny Murray doing rehab like twisting, turning, touches of the ball, working hard in the gym. Patience is required to make sure that there is no reaction to the knee that he hurt. Sandy continued:-
"We are being careful with him. Whether he gets back this season I don`t know the answer to that one. It is more important that he is fit and ready for ongoing seasons."
Three first team players - Ryan Williamson, Lewis Spence and Callum Fordyce - played in the Development League match away to Aberdeen.
"We have a fairly big squad when everybody is fit. It is horrible when you have to leave players out who you know are good pros and work hard. We can only use eighteen on a Saturday and we have a few more than that at the moment because just about everybody is fit.
"The lads who play in 20s games have attitudes that are always first class. It is important for first team players to take something out of games in reserve team football."