Manager previews Queen’s Park match

Dunfermline manager James McPake faces a challenging task ahead of the team’s league match against Queen’s Park tomorrow, as injuries continue to plague his squad. In an interview at lunchtime today, James expressed concerns about the fitness of key players and shared updates on the extent of injuries suffered by three players in Tuesday night’s match against Arbroath.

The trio of Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Sam Fisher, and Owen Moffat all came off injured in the second half of the Arbroath encounter, ruling them out of the starting eleven for the upcoming game. The Pars gaffer acknowledged the challenge:-

“We will still have a strong eleven, the squad will be a bit threadbare again impacting the bench but we will just have to deal with it.”

The manager provided updates on the injured players, indicating that Kane Ritchie-Hosler’s X-ray results were positive in terms of bone damage, but an MRI scan was scheduled to assess ligament and structural damage. Sam Fisher, currently in a moon boot, is also undergoing investigations to determine the severity of his injury. Owen Moffat, with a groin tightness, remains a doubtful inclusion for the match, while the return of Ben Summers to the squad brings a positive note.

The injury list extends further with Kyle Benedictus, Rhys Breen, and Andrew Tod still on the sidelines. McPake emphasised the need to avoid rushing players back from injury to prevent further setbacks.

Reflecting on the challenging season, James noted, “In terms of serious injuries, and we are just into December, we have probably more than I have ever experienced as a manager.” He expressed empathy, particularly for Kane Ritchie-Hosler, who has faced three serious injuries in a short span of time during training.

Despite the setbacks, James remained focused on the clash against Queen’s Park. He acknowledged the threat posed by a team seeking its first win in eleven games and highlighted Queen’s Park’s attacking prowess. He praised their style of play, acknowledging the unpredictability of the upcoming encounter.

“They are a good side, they score a lot of goals, their problem is at the other end. We know how expansive they can be but I thought we were excellent at Hampden earlier in the season but that game was that long ago. 

“Credit to Queen’s Park, they keep playing the way they play. Hopefully that continues tomorrow and they get beat! I actually like watching them, they are different from Arbroath and that’s not weighing any of the two of them up. It’s a different game that we are going to face and they have good players in their team. 

“Ruari Paton was joint top goalscorer in League One last season. He showed the goals he can score in a team that didn’t make the play-offs last year. Dom Thomas, has played here, I think he is a good player and can hurt you and they have others. They play a certain way and they are probably saying the same about us, they are predictable, we are predictable so we will see who is as predictable when we turn up.”

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