Dunfermline Athletic

Manager Post Spartans

Thursday, 24th Jun 2021

23/06/21: PG - “Even though it is a pre season friendly it is something that we have to learn from.” Decision imminent on Isaac Rice.

For a pre-season friendly Dunfermline manager Peter Grant agreed that the match against Spartans was eventful especially with a red card being shown to one of his trialists:-

“It seems to have been that way, we have had a few injuries here and there and then we came into tonight thinking ‘good a football match’ on a fantastic surface really, it has just been relaid. I was really looking forward to the game but there was an unfortunate incident in the first 20 minutes of the game.

“We had to adjust things and it made it a little more difficult. We had to move players into positions that they don’t normally play to benefit the team. I thought their attitude and commitment was excellent, I can’t fault them for that.

“There was a lack of quality at times, we turned the ball over too many times in good areas and it finally caught up with us in the last kick of the game. We gave the ball away in a really good attacking position and conceded a goal from it.

“It doesn’t matter if that is pre season friendlies or not, I don’t make excuses for that and I was disappointed with that. The boys know that, they have been absolutely brilliant since the day I have come in the door with their attitude to training and what I am trying to do. I have been really really pleased with them and the biggest thing has been keeping that ball.

“I said to them tonight, that at that period in the game they should never have seen the ball again. We made too many wrong choices in that period. It doesn’t matter if you have ten players, nine players or eight players, if you have the ball the other team can’t score.

“We made a wrong choice at that period in time and they punished us. Even though it is a pre season friendly it is something that we have to learn from.”

The manager discussed the sending off of one his central defensive trialists in just the 19th minute of the friendly:-

“We know what it is like and with some of these boys you have to remember that even though they are at big clubs, they have not played since last March. With the close down the pre season for them has been a long pre-season. They have been in training but playing no games, just training ground games. Nothing beats competitive games and they have missed that.

“The boys that we are going to get have either been substitutes at their main clubs or they have not been playing games because they are youth boys coming through who we know have talent but because they have missed the amount of game time, it is getting those game legs again because you can run as much as you want, you can do as much weights as you can but if you have not been out with the ball your timing is a little bit off and I think that happened with that trialist tonight.

“I am disappointed for him, for us we have to adjust because that can happen in a match and that is part of pre-season. It makes other guys fitter because they have to run about a lot more.”

Isaac Rice was one of the five trialists who got an outing against Spartans and the 20 year old, recently released by Sheffield Wednesday, impressed in his 90 minutes on the park. Peter continued indicating that he will make a decision about him very soon:-

“There is a fine line between young centre backs nowadays- being a really good footballer and being a defender in the lower and youth levels now there is a lot of emphasis on playing the ball out which we are a big part of obviously, but always remember your first job is as a defender. The one who got sent off made a slight error of judgement and at each level you go up it gets a bit harder and more difficult because you are playing against wiser strikers. You have to be quicker in thought.

“I saw things that I was pleased with and other things that I was not pleased with. You can see that with everybody because the team was disjointed and you have to be fair with them because it affects the balance of the team when you put players in positions which you wouldn’t normally do, but circumstances dictated that.

“His attitude has been first class, he has been in near enough two weeks now and it is only fair that I speak to the boy tomorrow to see what his thoughts are, see what my thoughts are and I will tell him what I think. Within the next couple of days I will make a decision on that because I think it is important for the boys, because if it is not going to be here it is only fair that they are in a good place to go somewhere else and ready to go and place elsewhere.

“With the training that they have had here, the amount of pre-season and games that they have had it puts them in good stead. If it is not going to be here, at least it gives them an opportunity to go elsewhere. I don’t want to waste their time and I don’t want to waste our own time.

“That goes for all the guys, I think it is so important for them because they could come here for two weeks but they maybe have an opportunity to go elsewhere. So if I am going to say to them ‘could you wait until next week’ it is going to be unfair on them.

“I have sat with Greg and Steven and we have looked through the video work of the 75 minutes they played in the game on Saturday. We take things from that, put the two of them together and watch them in training. It gives you a clearer picture to make a decision.

“I know in my mind where I am in this moment in time. I know what I am trying to do. I know where we need to improve, that is important. I think we are looking at trying to get five or six bodies in the door. Who they are anybody knows at this moment in time. We have a lot of things going on but we are not the ones who make the decisions on that, it is the guys that you are talking to, their agents, the clubs that you are talking to. But we are hopeful that within the next couple of weeks we will hopefully have another five or six in.”



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