Assistant Manager on ThursdayThursday, 23rd Feb 2017
Sandy Clark:- "We will do our homework on them, they are a good team but they have dropped a few points and they can have an off day here and there.
After the major disappointment of going out of the William Hill Scottish Cup in a penalty shoot out, Pars assistant manager Sandy Clark says that the players and management just need to get on with the next task in hand against the league leaders on Saturday. Speaking exclusively to the website he said:-
"We are all experienced and wise enough to know that is the way football is. It was so disappointing the way the whole thing panned out but it is now about how you react to it and how you pick up. We have to make sure that we go and do that with a good performance against Hibs at the weekend."
The players were without a match on Saturday as their opponents participated in the semi final of the Irn Bru Cup. Sandy continued:-
"I think they earned their days off. We went a long spell there, apart from the Falkirk game where we lost, with performances that were on the whole very good. We put ourselves in a good position and the break is good to recuperate a bit and get freshness about things. Hopefully we will get the benefit of that against Hibs."
The experience of the two matches against Premiership side Hamilton Accies demonstrated how close Dunfermline are to the standard required in the upper league.
"If you look at the bigger clubs in the Championship and the bottom end of the top league in Scotland there is very very little between the teams. If you made that a league it would be tight.
"So we are not surprised that we did well against Hamilton but at the end of the day it is about getting through cup ties and we are so disappointed for everybody, the fans, the directors and players at the club. It was a really good opportunity and to a certain extent it was taken away from us by a mistake but as I said that`s football and you just have to get on with it."
Sandy is well aware that Dunfermline have not managed to take a point off Hibs in the first two fixtures between the teams this season but they are not top of the league for nothing:-
"Hibs are a massive club, a Premier League club. Allan and I watched them against Raith Rovers and we were at the game in midweek against Hearts.
"We will do our homework on them, they are a good team but they have dropped a few points and they can have an off day here and there. They are not perfect and we know that we are good enough to go and get a result at Easter Road but we will have to go and play well. The midweek game might work in our favour."
Sandy has followed the progress of John McGinn for a few years now and feels that he is top class:-
"He could well develop into an international player for our country. That is the kind of standard that they have got at Easter Road. They are a big club, a big stadium and there will be a big crowd there on Saturday.
"They have a lot going for them but they are in our league. We have lost twice to them but did okay in both games. It is up to us to try and take the step up and get something from the match."
Squad wise it is hoped that Andy Geggan might have recovered from his ankle injury and be ready for the trip to the capital. Ryan Williamson and Callum Fordyce are possibly a wee bit away from being fit to return. Ben Richards-Everton is out long term but Sandy Clark felt the the squad was strong and provided good selection options.