Dunfermline Athletic

Murray is happy to a Marked Man

Friday, 26th Feb 2021

“It’s certainly not the Euan Murray show. I’m more than happy to make decoy runs and try to take folk away and let the other lads chip in.

From the captain’s point of view last Saturday’s win over Alloa Athletic brought out the best in Dunfermline. Talking ahead of the trip to play Queen of the South, Euan Murray said:-

“I probably would say in a way it was the best we’ve played in terms of playing out and playing through the lines for a number of weeks, on what was a difficult park and against a well-organised and good side.

“We come away thinking positively from our point of view that we’ve managed to dig in and grind out another result, and that’s been a massive improvement this season. Last season, we would potentially have drawn the game or lost it.

“One of our biggest features this season has been, in periods of games where it is 15 or 20 minutes of teams throwing everything at us, we find a way of coming through it and winning the game. That’s what it’s all about. If you had offered me that result before the game I would have bitten your hand off for it.

“The reality was that we pretty much restricted them to a few openings. They scored a deflected goal and Fonners has had a good save from a free kick, and a good save in the second half from Trouten.

“In the first half, we could have been out of sight if we had taken a few of our chances, but towards the end up we maybe got a bit deeper, which is natural when you’re holding on to a lead and they pretty much throw the kitchen sink at you.”

Testimony then that, as is commonly recognised, there are no easy games in the Championship and next up are a Queen of the South side that has seen its fortunes transformed in 2021. Euan continued:-

“They are the form team in the league. They are on a great run and they had a good result last Saturday against Dundee, so they’ll be flying high.

“It is like anything else, it’s a tough place to go again. We keep saying that, there’s certainly no easy away games in this league. One of the biggest things is we need to put any excuses out of our minds, whether it’s the pitch or the distance of travel, whatever.

“We need to just go down there and treat it like any other game and take confidence out of our result from last Saturday and iron out a couple of wee things that could have helped us in the second-half, and go there looking to get three points. Hopefully we can put a wee run together again.”

The Pars skipper believes the be-all and end-all is coming away with three points from Saturday’s top four clash at Palmerston:-

“Everybody wants to play great football and have great individual performances every single week. I’m not particularly bothered if I play well or the team plays well on Saturday, going down to a tough venue, as long as we walk away with three points. Then, I’ll be happy.”

Queens have made an advantage out of their artificial pitch which Euan admitted is “not the best surface” but it is the same for both teams.

“They play there every second week but it’s like anywhere else. You could argue that about Arbroath, that they play that better because it’s their pitch. It’s similar to that. You can’t go into the game thinking about it or it affecting your judgement on anything. You just need to play the game for what it is, and certainly come half-five on Saturday you can’t be having any excuses.

“The fans expect you to go and put on a performance and win. I doesn’t matter who you’re playing or where you’re playing, you’ve still got a responsibility to go out and win the game. That’s what we’ll certainly be trying to do on Saturday.

“It’s all about winning, it’s all about picking up points and going to these places and doing that is what propels you up the league, it’s what keeps you in play-off positions, it’s what keeps you closer to Hearts. If you can find a way of coming away with a result and winning three points, it’s massive.

“We’ve obviously got another round of tough fixtures coming up, so it’s another chance to put three points on the board and keep us ticking over. We know how tough it will be.”

Having scored seven goals in nine matches at the start of the season, Euan has not scored since November and he joked it was not a case of asking the manager to be put on penalties:-

“No, but I’ve asked him to change the corner taker - I don’t think wee Dom has hit me with one since! It’s one of these things. On Saturday, I think I was pretty much on the end of one if there wasn’t a handball in the box. It came off someone’s arms and I know it would have been soft, but with the new rules… but it didn’t go our way.

“I’ve still ended up on the end of quite a few things but it’s just not been as clear-cut as the chances I had earlier on in the season. Whether that’s because I tend to find there’s almost two folk marking me at times now - usually somebody to block my movement to start with and then someone picking me up in the area.

“But, it’s certainly not the Euan Murray show. I’m more than happy to make decoy runs and try to take folk away and let the other lads chip in. One of them that was great to see was Craig Wighton coming in on Saturday and getting off the mark. I couldn’t be happier for him to come in and stamp his authority on the side the way he did, I thought he was excellent.”

Euan is optimistic that all four signings in January will provide a great boost to the team:-

“When you’re at a club like ourselves, a big club in this league, it’s so important, I think, to have competition for places, so people don’t rest on their laurels.

“The manager and his coaching staff have managed to add quality. There’s no point in adding people just for the sake of it. The ones he has added will bring different things through time.

“It gives you a big boost when you see someone like Craig Wighton coming into the club, somebody who has been there and done it at other clubs and scored goals wherever he’s been. I think he showed on Saturday exactly what he’s all about and, for all he started off like a house on fire, there will be more to come from Craig the more he settles in. Hopefully we can reap the benefits of that.”

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