Dunfermline Athletic

Dom and Dorrans key men

Thursday, 18th Nov 2021

This week John Hughes was quick to highlight the importance of both Graham Dorrans and Dom Thomas to Dunfermline Athletic

Graham Dorrans first appearance since the end of September was a welcome sight at Inverness but the presence of the 34 year old who has made over 400 appearances including with the likes of West Brom, Norwich City and Rangers, is in no doubt hugely important to the team. This week John Hughes was quick to highlight the importance of both Graham Dorrans and Dom Thomas to Dunfermline Athletic:-

“Dorrans is the best player at the football club. Managers don’t say things like that. You shouldn’t say that, but with the career he’s had and the clubs he’s been at, he is the best player at the football club.

“There’s other ones that can do things that Graham Dorrans can’t do, in terms of better legs and getting about, and that’s just because of age. In terms of on the ball and making it happen, he’s a special case and we need to treat him differently from everyone else.

“The players need to realise that Graham Dorrans in our team and fully fit can do something special. And Dom can do something special. When I played with certain teams I couldn’t do what certain players did, but they couldn’t do what I did, and that’s about bringing it all together. We just need to look after him, a little bit differently, and get the gold dust on him and enjoying his football and get him pulling the strings.

“He did a couple of things in training this week where you say, ‘did you see that?’. He’s dipped the shoulder and whipped a pass away. When he’s trying to do that and he gives it away, you’re asking others, like Toddy, to get in there and get it back for him.

“You can see it all coming together, but it won’t happen after a week or two weeks. We are going to have to dig really deep to take this club where it wants to go. There is so much in place that it makes my job easier.”

The manager avoided the definitive answer to who will be his first team captain:-

“I want my captain to play every week and if Graham Dorrans stays fit and plays every week there’s every chance he’ll be the captain. But does he want that responsibility? He might say he doesn’t want that responsibility or he might say that he wants the responsibility, he enjoys what he’s doing and he wants to lead from the front and set the standards.

“On the first day, I saw him warm up and he just warms up differently to everybody else. He’s similar to Liam Miller that I had at Hibs. I used to say to the young kids to get themselves next to him and watch him, watch what he does, how he warms up and how he conducts himself. That’s the values we want to bring to the club.”

Continuing his compliments Hughes described Dom Thomas as “different class”:-

“He is one who if he could take those leadership qualities, he has got everything. I want to put responsibility on him but sometimes if you put too much it can go the wrong way. Right at this moment in time I just want Dom to go and do what Dom does. Let him go and play and get the ball to him.

“I say get the ball to Dom and let him go and make the mistake, let him go and express himself and do what he did on Saturday. I get excited like everybody else when he gets the ball in the right areas of the pitch.

“He can go and hurt people so just let Dom be Dom. Let him go and play with that freedom, that free spirit knowing that when he has not got the ball he still has duties to do which he did on Saturday very well.”

The boss is looking for players to set a standard on the training pitch and thinks that the 25 year old with 56 Dunfermline appearances behind him can do just that:-

“He has set his standard in terms of the work ethic, it is up there and it is important that we keep them. They cannot go back down they need to keep up there and keep raising that bar.

“He is popular about the place and I like that wee Glasgow swagger and banter that he has got. I love all that gallous. Dom has got that and when you have that you have to let them express themselves and make that compensation.

“He knows his duties and when he does what he did on Saturday then it is well worth it.”

Manager speaks to Jordan Burt on Pars TV

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