Manager post Morton

Listen to this James McPake interview

“It was a really important three points for us, and the manner in which we got them as well” opened James McPake. “At no point were we bullied or did we get caught up in the other side of the game.  We stuck to the plan and we played some decent enough stuff when we could.  It’s not easy, there were a lot of stoppages in the play. Every time the ball goes out for a throw it takes two and half minutes to come back in!  There are loads of different things you need to get right on the day and today I thought we deserved the victory.”

Benedictus won a lot of headers in the second half?

“That’s what he does. In terms of his leadership, if he’s not getting his head on it then nine times out of ten he’s positioning the other centre-backs in the back three to go and get on it.  I thought as a team we defended really well. Credit to them, they make you defend. They’re very direct, they put loads of balls in your box and you’ve got to be right on it and defend properly. With Bene back in, since he’s come back, we’ve been doing that.

“It was a big save from Den, obviously, from the penalty but I thought we should have been out of sight by then. We showed great character.  There were three players left out today – in Xavier Benjamin, Andrew Tod and Taylor Sutherland – who have done really well in training and games they’ve played.  Then there’s senior players like Michael O’Halloran, Joe Chalmers and Paul Allan, and Owen Moffat and Rhys Breen, who don’t get on, but they’re encouraging their team-mates.

“The three points pleases most but you realise how tight the players are together.  When you go on a run of nine games without a win then it takes togetherness and I think we’ve shown that.”

Deniz Mehmet has now saved three penalties in a row.

“I didn’t know that.  I think it should have been a free-kick on Den, it certainly looked like that from where I was standing. Maybe it’s the way Morton play you always feel that there could be a free kick. They just make you defend that much that you are hoping that it’s a free kick. It certainly looked a free kick from where I was standing, I will need to watch it back at some point and see.  It was a big save. When there’s a penalty against us and we’ve got big Den in goals you always feel like he’s got that big save in him. Today it proved vital.

“We should have been more comfortable in the game but it’s great to come down here and win 1-0. That’s now nine points out of 12 against them.  I was a wee bit fed up of getting asked everything about 5-0 and going down and getting revenge.  We had an off-day that day, we were really poor and it’s not a day we’re proud of but that’s nine out of 12 and six out of six down here.

“All that mattered was the three points. It wasn’t about revenge or putting a result right.  If you looked at football that way you would forever be raging at something.  I’m just delighted to get the three points.”

Miles Welch-Hayes goal was his first for Dunfermline.

“He’s a real threat. As much as we say Morton can make you defend your box, I think when we’ve got a full squad we can go toe to toe with any team in terms of set-plays.  That proved really vital again today again. How many games are won or lost on a set-play and today was another one.

“Miles was a bit annoyed at himself in the first-half. There was one he just misses at the back post with one we’ve been working on.  He’s been great since he came in and he’ll be okay as well. It’s an impact injury but I’m delighted for him since he came into the club on loan he’s taken to the group and fitted in really well.  He’s a good player and a good defender.”

You must be pleased with the momentum that you are building?

“It was really important. As much as we say we always look forward to the next game we knew we had to start getting some point on the board.  This league is still so tight I genuinely don’t know where we are.  It’s a league that changes in every minute of every game. If a team scores you can drop two places. If another team scores your back up.  A couple of weeks ago we didn’t even play and we jumped a place.  It’s a mad league but I’m just delighted to get the three points down here. That’s six out of six down here and that’s not easy to do.”

Match Report: 23/03/24 Morton 0 Dunfermline 1

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