Manager on ThursdayThursday, 14th Jan 2021
14/01/21: SC - “ It is about being respectful and ensuring we don’t do anything that could create problems or allow the virus into our club.”
“It is testing times that we are facing with this pandemic” stressed Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford:-
“We can only continue to do what we are doing, make sure that we are behaving and adhering to the protocols and guidelines we’ve been given by the government and the league.”
On Monday news broke that the Scottish Cup and the leagues in Scotland below the Championship would be suspended for three weeks but Stevie hopes that that can lead to better times ahead:-
“It happened so quickly and it was a situation where you can only manage what’s put in front of you. What we are all facing in everyday life is serious and we need to be respectful of the virus itself.
“It is an unfortunate position we find ourselves in that there has had to be a suspension to the lower leagues and the Scottish Cup, but hopefully we can all rally round and try and get through this period in as positive a way as possible.”
There is no doubt that the players and management at Dunfermline Athletic feel that they are privileged to be allowed to continue playing football and the manager continued:-
“I see the efforts of the players and coaching staff and everybody who is working around the club in order to allow us the opportunity to play football.
“The chairman, right from the start of the pandemic, has made us all aware of the standards we must meet to allow us to play. We had a Zoom call on Tuesday where the chairman spoke to the players and the coaching staff, just to reiterate all the things we need to cover on a daily basis. It is about being respectful and ensuring we don’t do anything that could create problems or allow the virus into our club.”
The new guidance issued by the SFA on Monday now requires Covid-19 testing of all players at Championship clubs. Stevie explained that this had started:-
“We experienced testing going into the Kilmarnock and St Johnstone games and that’s one of the stipulations now - Championship clubs must be tested once a week. We went through that process after training on Wednesday.
“These things come at a cost but we need to be respectful and if that’s one of the things we need to do, then so be it. That’s something I’ll get a chance to speak to the chairman about.
“Things have only just happened this week but it does come at a cost, and that cost will become apparent as the weeks go on and we have more discussions about that.”
Having previously said that this would be a big week for his team when they faced three fixtures, the gaffer has now all his focus on just the one that will hopefully go ahead on Friday night. Inverness Caley Thistle was the last game and it will have been 17 days since that 1-1 draw on 29th December.
“We were preparing for the Raith Rovers game but the weather came up trumps that day. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to play in a fixture.
“It’s been strange. We seem to have been preparing to play Morton for weeks! It’s been some journey, because at one stage it was going to be Morton in the Scottish Cup, then Hearts on Tuesday night, then Morton again on the Friday night.
“It would have been three games in six days, which could have caused its own problems and issues. We have still been managing to get on the training pitch, albeit some of the conditions have been difficult with snow and ice but we are looking forward to the league fixture on Friday night at Cappielow.
Reminded that the Pars recent results at Cappielow have not been the greatest, Stevie replied:-
“Records are there to be broken. Morton, under Anton (McElhone) has won two and drawn two and I watched them play against Alloa a couple of weeks ago. They are enjoying a good bit of form but our own away form has been good this season and we’ll be going there looking to win the game, while being respectful of Morton.”
Ahead of the subsequently postponed cup tie Stevie had said that he had noted that Morton play in a certain set style and to counter that he added:-
“You’ve got to be wary of any opposition. It would be naive not to look at their traits. They have a couple of players missing from their last fixture against Alloa who have been playing in previous games but they do have depth to their squad as well.
“We want to cause them problems, rather than solely focus on what Morton do. We’ve got to try to be creative, cause them problems and look to try and score goals.”
Now into January are contracts being looking at more actively?
“It has been great that we have managed to get Ryan Dow and Aaron Comrie committing their future to the club. I have said previously to the media that if there is any further things to let people know then we will do so.”
The manager confirmed that Fraser Murray (pictured above) has recovered from the hamstring strain that he sustained in the Betfred Cup tie against St Johnstone and he expects a full squad to select from. In addition twenty year old midfielder Paul Allan has been recalled from Albion Rovers.
“The three-week suspension has just been thrown on us so in regards to loan players, we just need to wait and see, and we’ll have discussions about the players going forward.
“We felt it was right to bring Paul Allan (pictured below) back into the group but there are options to potentially put him back out on loan if we don’t think he’ll get sufficient game time. There are so many ifs, buts, and maybes with what we are facing. Hopefully, if things settle down over this three week period, we can come to a decision on players then.“
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