Manager post Hearts

Listen to this James McPake interview

“It was a good opponent. I thought it was a good game on the whole, two teams working really hard, in tough conditions with the heat. Both teams put a lot into the game and, looking at it from a Dunfermline point of view, it was really important to get some minutes into some. We got 80 minutes into Matty Todd, 45 minutes into Michael (O’Halloran). I’m really pleased.”

Are you pleased to get the signing of Michael O’Halloran done?

“He’s been in maybe for ten days or so, working really hard. He was going to have options and he had every right to look at them but I think he’s enjoyed it, I’m delighted to get him in. He’s a player that Dave (Mackay) knows particularly well personally.

“He’s a player that I’ve played against and coached against, so we know the qualities he’ll bring and what he’ll add to the squad. He’s in good condition. It was just important to get 45 minutes into the legs. We’ll assess Tuesday night and see what he needs from Tuesday, if anything. 

What are you hoping that he can bring?

“Any player we bring in, we want to add quality to the squad. It’s not ‘what individual thing does he bring in?’, there’s lots to Michael’s game. He’s played in the Premiership in Scotland for loads of years, he’s won cups, he’s had moves abroad, a move to Rangers but he’s still as explosive as he was. 

“He needs to play football, he knows that and he believes it’s the right place for him to do that. If we get that right with the condition he is in, it shouldn’t be too hard because he is in fantastic condition. He’d be an asset to any squad in Scotland. Thats been proved before when he’s had a move to one of the big two club – ane he’s played for St Johnstone. He’s a good player.”

How is Rhys Breen after he had to go off?

“I don’t know. We’ll assess it, he said he felt the hamstring again. Hopefully it’s not too bad, but I would be gutted for him if it was bad but we’ll assess that, it’s too early just now.”

Chris Hamilton was missing, is he okay?

“He just had a wee niggle the last couple of days. He’s played a lot of minutes over the pre-season period. He did work this morning on the pitch, he’ll be back training tomorrow. He’ll be fine for next week.”

The young players – Andrew Tod and Taylor Sutherland – have contributed during the pre-season matches?

“Both were excellent. Both have been training with us every day. The squad is pretty healthy in terms of the ones that are out: Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Matty was in and out but could still take part.  Those two – and Sam Young – have trained every single day with the first team, they don’t look out of place. It’s now getting minutes under their belt at first-team level as well, and learning the wee things, but both have been excellent and both are desperate to get better.”

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