This Saturday, Dunfermline will take on Partick Thistle in what promises to be an exciting clash at Firhill. As the anticipation builds, manager James McPake, has shared his thoughts ahead of the match, emphasising the importance of consistency in performance. James, known for his commitment to developing the team’s potential told the website:-
“What we believe that over time will bring success, whatever that looks like, to the football club whether it be players developing, getting out of League One – whatever success looks like to people, I believe the biggest part of it is consistency in your performances.”
He continued, “You are going to lose games, you are going to drop points but if you can keep a level of consistency in your performance then that benefits everybody. You very rarely win a game when you are rubbish. So you need that good performance. You can lose games when you are good, we know that but the pleasing thing was that the performance level was so high. We need to take that to Maryhill as well.”
Partick Thistle are not to be underestimated, they came within a whisker of earning promotion to the Premiership in last season’s play-offs and they have demonstrated a strong start to the season. McPake acknowledged:-
“Partick are a good side, and I know that they have lost a few bodies. They lost in a penalty shoot-out after having a big lead. It is a tough place to go, they will be hurting after that defeat. So it is a game where we need to be again taking care of our level of performance, be the best we can be, and if we do that, we fully believe that we can come away with a positive result.”
However, McPake also pointed out the unpredictable nature of the cinch Championship, saying, “Taking away the 3-0 defeat to Arbroath last time out, Partick have had a good start to the season. I saw them beat Ayr United 4-0, but that’s this league, and credit to Arbroath. We are talking about Partick this week because we are playing them, but Arbroath have won five games against Championship teams on the bounce. I have been in this league a long time, and I certainly don’t think that I ever did that. That’s no mean feat, a lot of credit has to go to Arbroath; they are a good side with a really good manager.”
As the team prepares for the encounter, James emphasised the need for his players to focus on their own game:-
“We just need to take care of ourselves. We are going down to play Partick Thistle. They will be hurting; we know that but the one surprise was how direct they were. I’m expecting that to change; I might be wrong, but I’m expecting them to go back to the Partick Thistle I watched quite a lot of at the tail end of last season. It is going to be a tough game, but we just need to look after ourselves.”
In terms of squad news, first choice keeper, Deniz Mehmet is set to return to the squad, while Kyle Benedictus, Rhys Breen, Matty Todd, Andrew Tod, and Kyle Ritchie-Hosler are sidelined due to injuries.
Reflecting on potential team changes, McPake commented, “If you look back over last season, I changed a winning team. It is something that me and Dave Mackay firmly agree on. It is probably something that we got wrong at Dundee; if we won a game, we thought everything was right. We look at each game individually, and I think that served us pretty well, so I have no issues changing a winning team, especially when you have players who are equally as capable. But the way that back three are, I would be very reluctant to change them at the minute and that’s with a traditional right back playing as a right centre-back. Aaron Comrie has been outstanding.”
When you examine the Pars defending, many of the clips show bodies getting thrown on the line but they are also winning the ball back so high up the pitch that’s contributing to the way they defend and making life easier for on loan keeper Harry Sharp. James pointed out the defending that is going on all over the pitch:-
“Wighton nicking it off people, McCann is nicking it. Jakubiak at Hampden when he runs forty yards just to give away a throw in, to block the opponent playing it up the line. That’s defending and that’s helping Harry. There is a domino effect that helps your centre backs but it was the same last year even though we weren’t as mobile at the top end of the pitch last year.”
The stage is set for another intriguing clash between Dunfermline and Partick Thistle, fans of both sides will eagerly await the outcome of this exciting encounter in the Scottish Championship clash.