Dunfermline Athletic

Manager post Celtic

Saturday, 22nd May 2004

Manager Jimmy Calderwood`s comments to media after the cup final

- - Listen to the thoughts of captain Barry Nicholson

“We chose a team to win the game. That is no disrespect to big Lee (Bullen) and Tod, we took big chances height wise at dead ball situations but we wanted to defend high up the pitch. We had a lot of pace with Labonte, Skerla and young Byrne and we wanted to get Barry Nicholson building up from the side.

“I thought it worked quite well in the first half when we created three or four chances. We probably had better chances than Celtic had. The goal was a strange one. I think Martin will probably be disappointed looking at the television, I think I would have been angry. I think the goalkeeper was impedient but when you are playing for the Old Firm you just have to accept it.

“Second half Celtic lifted the pace of their game. Our passing was poor which was disappointing from my point of view because I had put all my football players in to try and win the game by knocking the ball around and frustrating them. We did it in stages but it wasn’t as good in the second half.

“The young lad made a mistake by misjudging the ball. Henrik turned him for the second one but apart from that the boy has had a magnificent game considering he is only 20. It probably fell to the worst person that you’d wish it to fall to. It was as if the script was written.

“It was a good finish from Henrik and probably in the end Celtic deserved it. Disappointing from our point of view. You have seen me after a defeat the last time I was here (v Inverness Caley Thistle) and I wasn’t too happy. A lot of so called despots were saying it was going to be five or six nil. I think it was far from that. Today we were missing Scott Thomson, Shields and Wilson who could play in most defences in Scotland easily. Young Noel Hunt who normally comes on and changes things about a wee bit.

“So I was very proud of them. By our standards we have had a good season so never got the normal rollocking after a defeat, it was a wee bit different today. Fourth top of the league and we have improved on last season. We are into Europe through our position and being runners up to Celtic in the Scottish Cup so it has not been a bad nine months.

“I am disappointed to lose the game but it was magnificent to be involved in. It has been a long long time for Dunfermline. We have got the taste of it now and hopefully it doesn’t take that long again.

“It could have been better if we had won it but we would have needed to throw our contracts away because you don’t get any better than that!”

Did Jimmy fancy his team’s chances at half time?

“I fancied our chances before the game also. I fancied ourselves more at half time but it just shows you. We didn’t get our football players on the ball second half. All credit to Celtic; they upped the pace but we kept losing the ball in stupid positions if I have to be critical of them. They have worked their socks off. They have had to because Celtic knocked the ball about well in the second half.

“The goals were poor taking nothing away from Henrik’s finishing – it was a mistake from the lad. Then Alan Thompson got easy possession in midfield; he rolled it into Henrik and Henrik turned the kid and finished it. Poor goals from our point of view.”

How low is Labonte?

“No I don’t think he needs to be low. The kid has done brilliant, he is only twenty, and we got him from trials at Lillieshall last year from Newcastle’s youth team. He has come up and done really well. He is quiet and unassuming but he has got to be proud that he was involved in this against one of the best pairs in Great Britain”

JC was asked if he had seen the hand ball that might have given Dunfermline a penalty immediately before Celtic scored the equaliser?

“I never saw it but you will get me angry now” he joked. “I have just seen it on the replay and it looked like a penalty. That is football – you get them and you don’t get them.”

How many players are definitely leaving the club?

“I have just said ‘cheerio’ to Derek (Stillie) David Grondin and Lee Bullen. Crawford is obviously a doubt. Brewster is staying, Wilson is staying. We will have to wait and see what Stevie decides, it is entirely up to him. He has got the chance because of the way it was to take his free transfer or he stays at the reduced rate.”

How difficult was it to leave Lee Bullen out?

“Horrible. Very difficult. Jimmy and I sat with Sandy racking our brains how we were going to play. We knew what the Celtic team was going to be; that’s their strongest team in my opinion. It was very difficult because they are very difficult from cross balls. It could have been quite easy to put Lee and Tody in for that reason but we knew it was a new pitch. Aaron has been playing very well and big Richie doing very well. Lee was magnificent against Celtic at Parkhead a few weeks ago. Since then his standards have dropped a bit; he was disappointing.

“It was a horrible decision because I have had it myself in a Semi Final and this is a Final but that is what you are paid for. That is the bad side of it. He is a great professional so it was difficult. It was emotional for him but the boys picked him up and he has come on and done himself proud but that is the kind of professional in him.”

- - Listen to Lee Bullen`s final Pars interview

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