JMc – “We’ve got to enjoy the good pressure that’s carrying us at the minute, from supporters, from family, and from within.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s home match against Queen of the South, Dunfermline manager, James McPake has noted that Marvin Bartley’s team are coming to Fife in good form:-
“Marvin’s done a great job since he was appointed, which I’m not surprised about. He’s a very good coach, a really good person. I’ve got to know him, and I’m delighted that he is doing well, but I hope that changes on Saturday!
“He has turned it around, they still have a very good chance of making the playoffs as well. They will fancy coming to us and winning. It is going to be a really tough game and we will need to be ready for that. Just go and take care of the 95-96 minutes, however long it may be, to get a positive result.
“We are twenty (league) games unbeaten, 32 and just one defeat so we know that we have the players to go and do it. The players have got plenty of belief and plenty of energy. With this squad, we can change it and at Peterhead, we made changes to bring players off so we will be fresh and there will be no excuses about a long trip in midweek.
“We can’t hide away from the fact of just how important this game could be. It’s also one that could be, and I wouldn’t disrespect another team by saying a banana skin, but any team coming here ups their game. Queens came here and took a point off us earlier in the season. We’ve been good in the games down there, but they’re on a good run of form.
“Like the Falkirk game and at Peterhead, as soon as the game starts, there’s only one thing on our mind, and that’s performing well. It’s happened more times than not this season. I think every time we’ve performed really well, we’ve taken a positive result, so that’s what we’re hopeful for on Saturday.”
A big prize
With what’s at stake on Saturday James genuinely believes that’s a good thing:-
“I’ve never played in a game where you could win a title. I’ve played in Scottish Cup games, Dave’s won the Scottish Cup, and there are players in that dressing room that have all played on big occasions. I don’t know how many have played on the day that you can win a title.
“That was Tuesday night as well. We knew what was at stake in that game, we had to get three points and see what happened. This weekend we know it’s all in our hands. I’d much rather be in our position than anyone else in the league. You’re 90 minutes away, everything’s in your hands, and all it’s down to is you need to perform and need to score more goals than the opposition.
“It’s a great time to play. It’s probably the week that I’m watching training jealous that I’m not a player, and I’m at this side, because what a great game to play in.”
What will you be saying to the players?
“Do your jobs, work hard, and make sure you enjoy it. That’s it. They know what’s at stake now. Like all the big games, the demand for tickets, the demand for people wanting to speak to them, wanting to come along. The crowd itself -they’ll be in early I’m sure, they’ll be there for kick off and, by that point, the place will be rocking. The players know that.
“The good thing is that, over the course of the season, we’ve played in front of a big crowd on numerous occasions, home and away, so they’re used to that. Maybe one thing I will say is remember where we all were at this point last season, or later on, when things weren’t so good, because this game’s got a real habit of kicking you. It might still happen to us. It might happen to us on Saturday, but the one thing about football is it soon knocks you down, so you’ve got to enjoy these moments, you’ve got to enjoy these weeks.
“It’s far from done, we know that. There are still four games to play, but we’ve got to enjoy the good pressure that’s carrying us at the minute, from supporters, from family, and from within. Come three o’clock, it all goes out the window. We need to work as hard as we can, and do our jobs, and, by doing that, I’m sure we’ll enjoy it.”
A buzz in training
“I think they’re still tired a wee bit – I certainly am from that journey on Tuesday night, up there, with the weather. Thank God we got the victory!
“They’re fine. I think they’re relaxed. Tuesday was maybe a wee bit nervy because that was at the first point we knew we could win it, but, as I say, nothing’s done yet. We know we’ve still got a job to do.
“We’ve got to respect everyone, and particularly Queens because they are the team in the league, at the minute, that’s top of the form table in the last six, and they’re fighting for the play-offs. It’s going to be a really tough game, and the beauty again of being so far in front is there’s another three after it as well.”
The manager reported on Rhys Breen’s hamstring tendon injury confirming that there was no chance of him making a comeback this season:-
“He doesn’t require surgery. We found that out at half past five on Tuesday so Tuesday was great with Breeny’s news and the victory. He was actually running yesterday but we will take our time with it. His season is done and we will have him back for pre-season hopefully.”
Everyone else in the squad is available for selection.
“It is an opportunity for me to play in front of a big crowd here with a lot at stake in the game. We have four games now with a lot at stake, I don’t think there will be any of them coming in now with niggles. They are all itching to play. The squad is good, the mood is good, and only the players can ruin it now!”