Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 7th Jan 2021

07/01/21: SC - “We have to make sure that we are hitting the levels that we did in the Inverness game to go and give them a game and a run for their money.”

The postponement of the New Year derby against Raith Rovers last Saturday was unfortunate but not totally unexpected given the freezing temperatures. Manager Stevie Crawford said that it was disappointing but that is Scottish football:-

“At some stage of the season you are going to face it. It was a game that we were all looking forward to but obviously it is on the back burner now. We have the cup tie against Morton now to look forward to.”

There is a big week ahead with fixtures against Morton in the Scottish Cup, a crucial Championship match at Tynecastle and a league match away to Morton on the following Friday night. The manager dismissed the suggestion that players were rested for the match at Inverness on the Tuesday between Christmas and New Year:-

“I think I said after the Inverness game that I was really happy with the performance on the night and I was looking forward to the Raith Rovers game. I have every confidence in all the squad that we can rotate or we have to change formation or whatever it may be for the challenges ahead.

“As I said it was disappointing that the game never went ahead but it is not the first that will happen, I’m sure that we will face that through January and February as well. It is just focussing on the Morton game.”

The success in this season’s Betfred Cup has boosted the club’s Championship campaign and the manager would welcome the feel good factor that would come from a good run in the Scottish Cup:-

“The boys faced a very good St Johnstone side who were in a good bit of form at the time and these are games that you want to be involved in.

“As I said after the draw was made, Cappielow is not an easy place to go to and we know that it will be a very testing game. But we went up to Arbroath and enjoyed a really competitive fixture after getting through the group stages of the League Cup. It will be the same application, same attitude required to go through to Cappielow and try to progress in the Scottish Cup.”

Morton’s current form that includes Dunfermline’s only defeat this season is a clear indication for the formidable opposition that awaits at Cappielow. Stevie Crawford noted the success under the new management following David Hopkin’s departure:-

“They have a number of experienced boys there to help Anton McElhone. In the four games that they have had under Anton, with Jim McAlister, Chris Millar and Brian McLean all helping him on the coaching side of things, they have had two wins and two draws. That is the bit that sticks out to me, they have hit a good bit of form themselves.

“I was at their game against Alloa on Saturday. It was a good competitive game of football. I think Morton will probably be a little bit disappointed having scored quite late on from a setplay that Alloa managed to get the equaliser in the last ten minutes or so.

“They will be playing with a good bit of confidence, they seem to have a set style of play that they are playing at the moment and we have to make sure that we are hitting the levels that we did in the Inverness game to go and give them a game and a run for their money.”

Dunfermline players Paul Allan, Matty Todd and Gabby McGill who are out on loan were not cup tied at their respective clubs when the first round of the Scottish Cup was played and the manager explained:-

“We just wanted to make sure that we did not cup tie any players because we don’t know at this moment in time what January is going to bring to us.”

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