Assistant manager previews Queen’s Park

It was assistant manager Dave Mackay who spoke to the media at lunch time and he expressed his optimism that Saturday’s home match against Queen’s Park would beat the weather:-

“It’s definitely a lot milder but the temperature has risen and we’ll have a chance.  You’ve got to prepare as if every game is on, so it’s been no different to last week or any other week.  You’re preparing as if the game’s going to be going ahead.  We wouldn’t be doing our job if we said to the players there’s any doubt. The players think it’s going to be on, and we do as well.  Hopefully it will be.”

If the match was postponed for a second week running it would be over three weeks since the defeat at Hampden and the next fixture against Dundee United on Saturday 27th January. Dave warned:-

“You don’t want to go too long without a game. It would then be three weeks in between games.  Especially when you’re on a poor run of form and after a poor performance against Queen’s Park the last time, as players and staff you want the next game coming round quickly.  Unfortunately, last week’s was off but hopefully we get a chance to get back playing on Saturday.”

The intervention of the freezing cold weather has allowed extra time for the Pars lengthy injury list to improve and Dave revealed that he is hopeful of having a few back that he didn’t have available for Queen’s Park away:-

“That’s a bonus and obviously Malachi (Fagan-Walcott) has been added to the squad as well.  So, we’re looking in better shape.  It’s still not ideal. A lot of them will still be out for a considerable period of time but we’re certainly looking a lot healthier than we were at Hampden the last time.”

Lewis McCann is still described as having a 50-50 of being available but Dave added that the availability of both Sam Fisher and Ewan Otoo is a boost:-

“Lewis’ is still feeling his hamstring a little bit so we’ll have to be very careful with that and see how he is on Saturday. Sam Fisher has been back training and Ewan Otoo has been training again absolutely fine.  So, we’ve got a few players that will be added to the squad who have been missing.”

Matty Todd started the season wearing a mask and now Sam Fisher will join Chris Hamilton wearing a face mask after been given the all clear to play. The 21 year old defender received a nasty injury to his face and suffered concussion in New Year derby at home to  Raith Rovers and care was taken to ensure his recovery:-

“He was allowed to do certain stuff on his own but there was no contact or training.  He spoke with the specialist on Tuesday night, so he’s trained a couple of times this week and he’s got a mask to cover his broken nose as well, so he should be fine and available.”

The other masked footballer skipper, Chris Hamilton is probably only one match away from being able to take it off. He has been cleared to train and play without it from Monday onwards and his assistant manager praised him for perfecting the admustments required:-

“He’s done well in it, although it’s the kind of thing that’s awkward as a player to wear. It does affect your vision. They’ve said it affects you most when you’re looking down at the ball at your feet. You have to move your head a lot more than you normally would but in terms of his overall play, you wouldn’t notice it has made a difference to Chris.”

Discussing the return of on loan keeper Harry Sharp to Dundee, Dave said:-

“We’ve obviously still got Deniz and Max Little, so it’s not as if we’re terribly short in the goalkeeping position. We’ll see as it goes towards the end of the window. It’s not a priority position. We’re short in certain other areas of the pitch.

“I think the manager’s already said we’re looking for a striker and probably another defender as well as soon as possible, so, there’s other areas we need to focus on first. It might be one we look at towards the end of the window.”

Quizzed on any imminent signings Dave replied, “again, it’s the usual with these sorts of things, and especially the January transfer window, that it’s a domino effect. There’s one club makes a move, which then triggers other players being available for loan or transfer.

“A lot of stuff tends to get done in the last few days, which isn’t ideal. We would love to get players in quickly and there’s been a few we’ve identified.  But it’s whether the clubs are willing to do business or if they need to do stuff before we can get them in. We’ve got options there and hopefully we can get one or two of them in quickly.”

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