Jim Jefferies on ThursdayThursday, 11th Sep 2014
"Everybody in the squad is buzzing, it doesn’t matter what team we put out – there is real good competition for places now."
Jim Jefferies' team will face Stenhousemuir on Saturday without Ross Millen through suspension but Ross Drummond has trained this week with no reaction so he may well fit into the left back slot he vacated. Ryan Wallace has had a scan that has revealed a slight strain on his groin but also a stress fracture of his pelvis which is causing a back problem. The manager said:-
“This has been a blow for Ryan because that means for the next two weeks he can do nothing at all. Then there will be a rescan before we decide what stage it is. They will try to find out how that could possibly have happened – in a game, training or a fall in training. It is just unfortunate, there is no cure for that other than rest.”
JJ is hoping to resume a successful league run after wins over Airdrie and Stranraer.
“I was delighted to get away from Stranraer with three points. As Falkirk found out last week, you can’t go down there and try to play silky football. Peter Houston discovered that they just don’t allow you to do that.
“We said to the players at half time that they were not going to sit back and let you play football. They are going to get in about you. We got stuck in, even when ten against eleven, we thought we started the second half well. Obviously the boost came when they got a player sent off.
“It became an even game then and we had a number of chances to kill them off. Geggan will never have two easier chances; he is renowned for getting into the box and he doesn’t know himself how he missed those two chances. Just as long as he keeps getting in those situations.”
The manager wanted the name of his trialist kept under wraps but did comment:-
“He is a boy who was recommended to us through a good source that we have had success with in the past. He is a French lad and he came over for us to have a look at him for a few days. In that time we thought we would give him a chance. We need clearance for him but he has done well in training.
“It is too early to say that we are interested in him, he needs a few sessions. The boys have taken to him so we will see how it goes.”
JJ also gave the reasoning behind loaning out central defender Jonathan Page to East Fife for three months.
“I think he knows himself that he has not started the season well. He missed out a little through injury and he is not going to get back by sitting on the bench. He needs competitive games and we can put him out on loan under the 90 day rule. East Fife asked me because they were short of a centre back and I thought it was a good opportunity because we have had Stuart Urquhart now. He was put on ahead of Page because he has not started the season well. He agreed with that and will train with us and will just be off on a Thursday because he will be training that night with East Fife.
“It is much better to get your form back playing in a competitive environment on a Saturday. He will hopefully get back to his best because he did well when he came in last year and did well for us.
“We have got Lewis Martin, Gregor Buchanan, Stuart Urquhart and Ross Millen has shown that he can go in there anytime to play in that area as well. I don’t know if we hit injuries if we can recall him, you never know because the SPFL rules change all the time.”
Turning his thoughts to Saturday’s match Jim Jefferies recalled how Stenhousemuir had made it hard for Dunfermline in seeing out a goalless draw on their last visit to East End Park:-
“They have showed that they can score a goal or two. They have signed big Grehan from Stranraer who was always a threat. McMenamin is experienced and they have taken the young lad Oliver from Hearts. He will probably be playing his first game.
“They will be difficult opponents because they have experience and a bit of presence about them. They will try and keep it tight and hit us on the break. That is what we have had to face before but off the back of two good results our confidence should be up.
“We said after the Forfar game that we needed to go on a run but two games is not a run. We need to build the momentum on two good results – two good performances. Everybody in the squad is buzzing, it doesn’t matter what team we put out – there is real good competition for places now.
“The game was a bit flat last week against East Fife but to be fair to the players they all went through an endurance test on the Friday to test their fitness after having two or three days off. Some had to put in a real shift in a test that John and Neil put them through. Maybe they were suffering a little with heavy legs on the Saturday.
“The second half of the 20s game the other night against a good Motherwell side, had much more tempo to it. Even though we lost we didn’t deserve that, we deserved to take something from the game.
“These boys have to use these games to keep those chosen at the moment on their toes. I can see on the training pitch that there are one or two boys who are just bursting to get in. The players know that they have to play well to keep their place.”