Manager post Arbroath

Listen to this James McPake interview

“We’re back to winning way, it’s three points. It was a stuffy game in the first half even though we had a lot of the ball. As a team we were at bit static at the top end of the pitch and never asked enough questions of them although we had real control in the game. 

“Second half as a team I thought we were better from the start. I thought our movement was better, the runs in behind were better and decisions were better. It was a deserved three points. We could have scored more goals but to get three points in any game in this league we are delighted and it gets us back to winning ways. 

“After the Raith game, the first thing on your mind is you are delighted that you have a game so quickly but you need to go and win that game. We did it, credit to the players for that and I do think overall it was a decent performance off the back of that (Raith defeat). There were a lot of positional changes, personnel changes during the game and they adapted to that and it was a comfortable evening.”

That could have disrupted things but it didn’t seem to?

“I don’t think the players would ever allow that. You could say that it is easy for me to say when we have won 3-0 that it didn’t disrupt anything but I think I have been consistent, even when we have lost, when we have made changes they all know their roles. We do enough work on the training pitch that when Mikey (O’Halloran) comes on higher up the pitch, then he has to go into right sided midfield / right wing back whatever, he does that pretty easily. Aaron (Comrie) comes on as a right sided centre back for Sam (Fisher) but again it is a position that he is used to. Even on Friday night there we asked Ewan Otoo to go into midfield in the first half of the game – they are not going to moan and they are going to give everything. 

“I am delighted with that, delighted with the ones who came on and delighted with the start to the second half. We asked them to be a bit more fluent at the top end of the pitch and they did that. The three that started at the top end of the pitch – Lewis (McCann), Matty Todd and (Owen) Moff. We had a better start to the second half and when Wighton and Jakubiak came on, Mikey moved to right wing back and even with that the movement and running in behind was a lot better in the second half.

“I was delighted with the ones that came on, delighted with the clean sheet and we have not had enough clean sheets so to get that was really important. When you are 2-0 up and go 3-0 up you want to finish the job off.

“The disappointment of the night are the injuries in the game. Kane has dislocated his shoulder and he’s away to the hospital, Sam has an ankle problem which we’ll assess. The injuries for Arbroath as well, it is not great to see that with McKenna coming off late on on a stretcher as well, so best wishes to him. The negative of the night is definitely the injuries.”

It is gutting for Kane?

“I’ve had serious injuries myself but I’m not sure I’ve had three different serious ones in the one season so all we can really say is that we’ll give him the best of treatment that the club has been excellent at doing. We will look after him but I don’t think that is going to help him tonight. He was just getting back into the team, training well and he was a real threat in the game. We didn’t use him quite enough in the first half but second half he was a real threat in the game. 

“Then to get a painful injury as well. The shoulder is dislocated and it wasn’t back in by the time he came off so we don’t know the news. I have experienced one of those as well and they are not nice. So we will give him the best treatment we can. We will look after him and try and pick him up because that’s now three (injuries) in less than half a season if you include the time it took to come back. We are gutted for him but everybody will get behind him.

“He is a young lad and that’s the spirit in there. The players have come in, they are delighted that they have three points, Wighton coming off the bench is delighted to get two goals but deep down they are worried about their team mates. The group is good, we have another couple coming back that have been supported by their team mates and of course we will get behind Kane.”

Match Report: 28/11/23 – Dunfermline 3 Arbroath 0

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