Dunfermline Athletic

Jim Jefferies signs out

Wednesday, 17th Dec 2014

The very last words from Jim Jefferies on Tuesday before he left Pitreavie were to this website.

The Pars manager since March 2012 gave his farewell thoughts:-

"The last couple of weeks have been tough for everybody; going out of the cup after being virtually through to the next round. We turned the corner after a wee sticky spell; three great performances but then it was the manner in which we lost the last couple of games that made me feel that I couldn't keep going in there hammering them all the time.

"I felt that maybe this would be the time to let John (Potter) take over. I was going to retire after last season but with the disappointment after Cowdenbeath and then signing Buchanan and Moffat I couldn't really walk away after bringing them in. I decided to give it another year.

"The club does not really have the resources to go out and make it easier to go forward. At this time of year it is not easy to go out and get players. You have to very be fortunate - we did it last year when we brought some good boys in who gave us a lift and if it hadn't been for Rangers, we would have been champions.

"The season has still a long way to go but Saturday becomes a big game because of the fact, if they win it they are back in the mix again. I thought if there wasn't a wee change or something like a couple of new players coming in, if you do not start well or if something goes against you, you might find the atmosphere will just escalate and it will be a horrible environment.

"I have been in football long enough; criticism comes with the job. I have had more praise than criticism here and it is not because of criticism because it is water off a duck's back.

"What was the main reason was that the players wouldn't be able to give off their best playing in that sort of atmosphere. I decided that if I passed on the role to John and Neil it would be a bit more relaxed. The players would maybe not have to suffer, hopefully everybody would rally and get behind the team.

"John has said that he is comfortable with taking it on. Part of my remit to the Board was to groom John and Neil to takeover, so they have stuck to their word and given them it."

Getting knocked out of the Scottish Cup was frustrating for everyone and Saturday's defeat impressed upon Jim Jefferies that maybe it was time for others to try their luck.

"I just felt that after Saturday that it would be the right thing to do. Sunday was the day that I decided. Something had to happen at the club and I just felt that it might give them that bit of breathing space. I felt that the time suited the players and the club if I went now.

"I have had a great time, I have enjoyed the club, there have been some great people and I have tried to be as honest with them as I can. There have been tough times coming in here trying to keep their spirits up.

"When the club was saved and the players, myself and the staff went through not being paid for months all the focus was on making sure that the club survived. It was not about promotions or relegations, it was all about keeping the club afloat. We knew that situation had started to resolve itself but don't get me wrong, they are not in a position where they can go gung ho.

"It is a different make up of Board now, they are fans and fans want success instantly. They do not appreciate that they are a young team and it could maybe take two, three or four years. When you have been here three years you have very little time because being five or six years at a football club is taboo now. It maybe takes a lot longer but people have not got time to wait. Somewhere down the line you have to make that decision and I have made that decision.

"The club have been fantastic, I could not say anything bad about them. I have always appreciated their support. It is not about me or my benefit; it is about doing what is right for the football club and for the players that you have brought in.

"They have got a wee change and the fans will see where we can go now. They will maybe be a bit more patient to help John and the team go on from here."

JJ had planned to retire long before now but it was the challenge at Dunfermline that kept him going:-

"I started to enjoy it again. At other clubs I have had interference but at Dunfermline they let me get on with the job. Even my relationship with Gavin Masterton and John Yorkston was always helpful, what was wrong was that they put the club into jeopardy and eventually into administration.

"They all want success as quick as possible but given what we have been through I think it was always going to take a bit longer to establish. We have only two players who have played any length of time in the Championship because Josh Falkingham and Alex Whittle even though they were in the championship didn't last long because we went into administration."

Leaving all that aside even in his final hour at Pitreavie JJ was confident that his young team can be successful this season:-

"It would be nice to go up as champions but if it has to be play offs it would be nice to be third time lucky. It is all about getting up." The 64 year old signed off:-

"I will enjoy my retirement, I will still come and watch Dunfermline given the opportunity."

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