Defeat can make better players

It is an unhappy Joe Chalmers who spoke about his team’s disappointing exit from this season’s SPFL Trust Trophy at the hands of Dundee United. The defeat left a bitter taste in his mouth, but his words conveyed the determination to take positives from the cup tie that define both him and his teammates:-

“It was a disappointing afternoon for us,” Joe began, his voice filled with a sense of regret. “It doesn’t matter what team you put out, it is never good to get beat. There was a twenty-minute spell where we just lost our way and conceded three goals that we feel we could have avoided.”

Joe’s frustration was clear as he relived those crucial moments in the match. The feeling of letting the game slip away hung heavy in the air, but he was quick to emphasise their commitment to the cause a 3-0 down:- 

“The game was away from us, but we had to stick to our task, and one thing about this team is that we will keep working hard, keep chipping away,” he continued. “We hung in there in the second half, we had some good moments, but we just couldn’t get ourselves back into the game.”

Joe went all the way to the final of this competition when at Inverness Caley Thistle and also played in this cup while at Ayr United.  The Pars exit ends any hopes of a successful campaign this season but he highlighted the unwavering work ethic that defines his squad, despite the unfavourable circumstances.

“I have played in games before where you have been in that situation and you think ‘oh no,’ but one thing about the boys in there, no matter what, the work rate is never going to drop,” he declared. “That is one thing that will never be said about us, that we chuck it or we don’t work hard enough. It is just through hard work, and we showed a little more quality in the second half. We hung in there and kept the scoreline to what it was.”

The absence of nine Dunfermline players made the cup tie an uphill battle especially given the strength of the Dundee United side they faced. With the knowledge from 280 senior appearances, the 29 year old Pars midfielder claimed that sometimes, learning from a defeat can be invaluable.

“It is difficult when they had a strong team out, but we came here fancying our chances,” Chalmers noted. “The good thing is the young boys will learn a lot from that. Boys who have not been playing have got good minutes into their legs. I think going forward, it will stand us in good stead.

“You never want to get beat, nobody likes getting beat but at the end of the day, you learn from it, and people gain things. Sometimes getting beat is not the worst thing. It’s disappointing.”

As one of the experienced players in a team predominantly composed of players aged 23 and under, Joe highlighted the responsibility of senior players to guide and support their younger teammates.

“It was a young team out there, so the older ones just try and do your best and help the young ones as much as possible,” he explained. “We tried to do that, and hopefully, they have learned from that, and they will become better players going forward.”

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