MANAGER WELCOMES BIG GAME ATMOSPHERE

“There’s nothing better than playing here in front of a big crowd.”

With a big crowd anticipated for the penultimate home match of the season, the players can be spurred on even more than ever. James McPake agrees that over the course of the season, any time, and there has been a lot, when there has been a big backing, whether that be home or away, the team has produced a decent performance.

“The Falkirk game last weekend was probably the only one where we weren’t great in the game with a massive crowd behind us, but it showed real character. That’s a credit to the fans and the players that they stuck together and we came away with a point.

“It’s games like that you can sometimes be disappointed with when you don’t really perform to your levels, but I think you need to give other teams credit as well, particularly when they change the way they play against you to try and combat you to try and beat you.

“That’s what happened last weekend. Apart from that, any time there has been a big occasion, a big crowd, our players have been excellent, and we’re hoping for that on Saturday.”

Team talk for the crowd?

With a smile, James replied:- “They know! There’s a togetherness at the football club that isn`t easy to build. It takes a lot of hard work and, from a crowd’s perspective, it takes a lot of patience I think.

“There have been games here – like that Queen of the South game, the Peterhead game when we were 2-0 up with five minutes to go (and drew) – where there’s been a few setbacks in terms of what you’re trying to do as a group, and trying to get people on board but the crowd have been fantastic for everyone, in terms of how they’ve got behind the team, how they’ve, I don’t want to say bought in to what we’re doing, because they’ve followed this football club for years, for generations, so it’s in their blood.

“Like I said in my first interview, they want to see a team on the pitch that gives everything, and they saw that last Saturday. We came away with a point, but we gave everything on the pitch, and I think that’s the good thing about this group, the consistent thing about this group, is, home or away, they don’t leave anything out there.

“The crowd can relate to that, they buy into that. They know that the eleven that start, the nine that are named on the bench, the Rhys Breen’s that’s injured, we’ve all got one goal, and it’s performing for that crowd, and performing for this football club.

“It’s not a team talk, but it’s probably what I said in the first interview. They’ll get behind us, and there might be a setback on Saturday early in the game. You can never tell, but we know, at the minute, that we’ve got a crowd that will get us going, that will stick with us, and that will back us with everything we do.

“We’re looking forward to playing in front of them. It’s good to be back after being away from home for a couple of games. Let’s not kid anyone on with that either, as good as our away record is, there’s nothing better than playing here in front of a big crowd.”

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