Managers Post ForfarSaturday, 11th May 2013
11/05/13: JJ - "We have to go there and make sure that the game is alive coming back here
Jim Jefferies talked through the Forfar return as he saw it. He was aggrieved that Ryan Thomson had let the ball run out for corner that Forfar scored from in sixth minute:-
"The goalkeeper shouted for it and it was a difficult ball for him to take. He should have let the defender deal with it. That's inexperience and so to go 1-0 down was a sickener, missing a penalty is even worse and you think 'here we go again'.
"The reason they won today was their tempo and the intensity of their performance. They were always on to the second ball, always driving at them, always having them under pressure and not giving them any chance to settle.
"Forfar put in a great effort in midweek to be 3-1 up but I felt they tired in the last ten minutes in midweek so I thought they might be heavy legged today. So it was all about the players keeping up the intensity but when you do that and get away from people they do what a lot of part timers do. They make late challenges that run the result of bookings.
"We said to make sure that we get on to second balls, make sure that we drive away from them because they either have to let you go or got to pull you down. Then they run the risk of being sent off.
"Forfar caused their own downfall today but you still have to take advantage of it. We did that and it was just a tremendous performance given the way the game started by losing a goal and missing a penalty.
"Templeman was lucky to stay on the park in the first half when he had a lunge much similar to Dunlop's. The referee let him away with it and Whittle should just have checked his stride because he was never getting the ball. Iain Campbell was a on a booking when he spoke to the referee.
"The two sending offs made it a lot easier because we had so many people. We pushed the full backs on and just flooded people on because we could afford to do that. Gaps appeared and we punished them."
The Manager was not concerned when an 18 year old elected to take the important penalty just seven minutes from time:-
"He normally takes the penalties for the under 20s and he was looking to take them for the first team. Hubby quite rightly took the pressure off him by taking the one against Cowdenbeath because it was a big match. Hubby scored so he took it. He normally just blasts it but today he sidefooted it.
"Ross said 'no more, I'm on' and to be there with eight minutes to go waiting and believing that he could go on and take the glory speaks volumes for his character. He has played a lot of games when you include the 20s and that's why I gave him a rest in midweek because I thought I'd need him to get up and down that wing."
Forfar manager Dick Campbell was sent to the stand after ten minutes of the second half after he had encroached into the Dunfermline dugout and Pars coach Neil McCann joined him by referee Stevie O'Reilly as the red mist settled. Dick Campbell was incensed by the comments coming out of the Dunfermline dugout that he felt was crying out for Forfar's Michael Dunlop to be sent off. JJ joked that he is grooming Neil McCann to take the flack and there was no way that he was going to get involved in the heated exchanges.
"I thought, this is what I used to do, so you go and do it now! To be fair to Neil, it was Dick who came towards him and of course if somebody is giving you verbals then you are going to say something. I thought he was very harshly treated in being sent to the stand because Dick instigated it.
"You can understand why Dick was enraged because they were down to ten men and they were getting another man sent off. They thought they had this game sewn up when they arrived at the ground today but we showed them otherwise. The Dunfermline connections were a big thing for them today. Dick was bound to be wound up, it was passion and hopefully they will be a bit lenient with both him and Neil. There was nothing really, it was just shouting at each other, it wasn't fisty cuffs or anything like that. That's why everybody wants play offs."
In a game that took to 102nd minute before Dunfermline went ahead on aggregate, the Pars boss still felt that his side should have been four up at half time:-
"We had a great first half performance because we were just too sharp, too quick and too good for them."
Jim Jefferies acknowledged that his side were lucky to leave Station Park just 3-1 down but they grabbed their chance at East End Park because it was a totally different game:-
"The fans played a big part and the team were determined. It was just one terrific performance and tremendous credit for such a young team."
The Pars gaffer is well aware that his team's next opponents, Alloa Athletic have been in second spot in the the Second Division for a huge part of the 2012-13 season. He has had them watched in both their semi final legs against Brechin City and he is desperate to give a better account in the first leg than they did at Forfar:-
"We know what we are facing. They will be well up for it, we will be the favourites going into the game because of the size of the club but we got done on Wednesday. We have to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"We have to go there and make sure that the game is alive coming back here. This place will be rocking next Sunday."
JJ agreed that the atmosphere and excitement created exemplified why play offs should be part of the Scottish football season but strongly rebutted that Dunfermline should not have been pitched into them:-
"I have nothing against play offs but I do not think that we should be in the play offs. It was the fifteen point deduction that David Longmuir and his committee decided on but I do not think that was a fair thing. At the end of the day we definitely deserved sanctions, we definitely deserved transfer embargoes and fines but the bottom line is that they should not deduct points. At the end of the day, it's the players who have earned these points but they should not be the ones to suffer. The problems are mismanagement and that happens at football clubs but it is always the players that suffer.
"To get fifteen points deducted was an absolute disgrace. That is what got us in this problem. The most important thing is that Dunfermline survives and it doesn't matter what division it is. There is no point being in the First Division and the club going into liquidation. We will do our best, that if they do survive, that they are in the First Division."
Dick Campbell was still raging when he talked to the media almost half an hour after the match had concluded. He felt that refereeing decisions had a major impact on the outcome of the First Division play off between his Forfar team and his previous charges, Dunfermline Athletic:-
"I am not in any way shape or form blaming the officials about our performance today. We scored a goal, it was a great goal and we were up and Mark McCulloch's was a sending off.
"You can look into the game whatever way you want but I know the guy Michael Dunlop and I think there is an honesty about him. Both them were hurt, in fact the Dunfermline player got up before our player got up. It annoys me when people in this game want, from the bench and from the park, to influence referees. I have just told the referee that and I just don't like it. I don't like people influencing getting a player sent off."
Dick was sitting in the South West enclosure when Stevie O'Reilly gave a penalty for hand ball just seven minutes from time.
"The referee was the only guy in the whole ground that saw a penalty kick. It hit him so what is he supposed to do? On Wednesday night Dale Hilson was clean through, rounded the right back who pulls him back and he doesn't even give a foul; it was a sending off.
"The good thing from my point of view is that I was very impressed by Dunfermline's young laddies. They were there today to go at and sort them out but they stood up better than my players today and all credit to them.
"Young Campbell got sent off but I would get sent off in the warm up nowadays; you can't even talk to people. How can you possibly send a player off for that and put us down to eight men? He is the laughing stock of the game for me.
"Dunfermline were very worthy winners but I am very angry as you can detect from the tone of my voice. I will be here to watch the final between them and Alloa but I honesty do feel that three players should not have been sent off. Three critical decisions went against us today. I told the referee that.
"We are encouraged at the start of the season to go and talk to referees after the game but I have just been discouraged, It doesn't matter what you do in football now, you cannot talk to anybody. The hierarchy do not want to talk to you about anything. We have been in this game a long time but no one wants to talk to football people like us. Referees do not want to talk to us unless they are getting a pat on the back.
"I do not think the referee deserved a pat on the back. The people who deserved a pat on the back today was Dunfermline and their young boys. I wish them all the best in the next round.
"I am really disappointed with my players today but we achieved what we started out to do, that was hit the play offs. Forfar is a club that lives within its means . I am not having a go at Dunfermline about that.
"Scoring a goal within the first five minutes had me thinking we were in a comfort zone but Dunfermline came back through critical decisions.
"When we were down to eight players I just wanted him to blow the whistle because that is not right. The outcome was inevitable and I did not want them to get too embarrassed."
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