Dunfermline Athletic

Pars can use pain to be Heart breaker

Friday, 2nd Apr 2021

Euan Murray:- “You need to be brave enough to go out there with your shoulders held high again. Deal with criticism, deal with playing with the pressure when it is not going your way.

Accepting the responsibility to face up to adversity, it was the club captain Euan Murray who spoke ahead of the home match against Hearts. He was unhappy with the two recent defeats away from home at Dundee and Raith Rovers with the latter felt particularly sorely since he left the Kirkcaldy side for Dunfermline after making 92 appearances over two seasons from 2017.

“I am not going to try and dress anything up - it was embarrassing to be honest. I was just not good enough, we had a game plan to carry out and we didn’t do it well enough. The goals we gave away were so bad, so basic.

“Raith Rovers looked like they wanted it more that us on Tuesday night which for me is the most worrying thing. We are going to have to learn quick, we are a young squad and a lot of them are going to have to learn on the job to try and rectify it.

“It is done now, it certainly hurt me and I hope it hurt every single person in that team as much as it does me. We go again on Saturday, it is not going to get any easier for us. Teams are going to know that we are hurting and that we have taken a couple of bad ones, they will look to jump on it.

“It is our job, I sure that we have been rightly criticised for it. That is something a lot of them will have to learn to deal with. You need to be brave enough to go out there with your shoulders held high again. Deal with criticism, deal with playing with the pressure when it is not going your way.

“We had it our way earlier on in the season, maybe it was our downfall a wee bit but it is going to be a massive learning curve for a lot of them. As a collective we need to stick together and try and come up with some results.

“Our game plan was similar to the one we played against Raith at East End when it worked so well. For me it was too passive, far too passive for a derby game. You are not asking boys to go in and put bad tackles in but you need to get closer to folk. I think we gave them too much respect and I think a lot of us were like rabbits in the headlights in the first half.

“We need to take the positive stuff that we have been doing in training, in terms of on the ball and put that into practice in games. It is not easy at times when you are under pressure and under criticism but if you want to play at a club like this then whether it is social media, whatever it is, you need to deal with criticism when you don’t win games.

“We got a lot of criticism and rightly so after Tuesday’s defeat. This is a manning up stage for a lot now where we need to go out there, play with this pressure and start delivering results like we did earlier on in the season.”

As a player at the centre of the Dunfermline defence Saturday Euan was particularly put out by losing eight goals in the last two games but added:-

“We cannot look at anyone other than ourselves. I pride myself and the rest of us did, on having a solid base. The vast majority of the season we have been but that doesn’t excuse a night like Tuesday.

“You need to use that hurt, use the criticism and turn it around. Saturday is not going to be an easy game, it never is against Hearts but it is another opportunity, another home game for us to go out there and get back to performing the way we should be.”

Hearts have attracting criticism after going out of the Scottish Cup to the Highland League’s Brora Rangers and following that up with a home defeat to Queen of the South. Euan continued:-

“They have hit a wee blip as well but Hearts will come wounded and I expect them to react. Just the same I expect our players to react as well, you cannot sulk. The games come too thick and too fast, the League is unforgiving and you cannot afford that kind of performance more than once per season.

“Everyone knows there’s pressure on Hearts going into this game. They’re going to be wound up and fighting and scrapping for everything. That’s what criticism does, it drives teams.

“Sometimes it can go the other way and you actually pick up because of it. That’s what we need to do. We need to use any kind of criticism that’s come our way and the bad result and turn it into a positive. We need to get after folk again and start going into tackles again and doing the nasty side of the game that we did so well earlier on in the season.

“From there, it’s just about seeing what we can get out of the game. Everyone knows, regardless of whether they’ve slipped off it lately, that Hearts are the best team in the league and they will win the league, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”

Euan is hoping that Dunfermline can repeat the success over Hearts in November this Saturday while recognising that there needs to be a massive improvement from the last time out:-

“When you are at Dunfermline, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s Hearts coming or any other team in the league, you’re still expected to go and compete and at the very least try to win the game. There will be that pressure as well, but there’s pressure on both sides going into it, and it’s just about us trying to manage that and hopefully come away with something a bit more positive.

“We need to be something completely different from what we saw on Tuesday night. We need to deal with the fact that when we get criticised we need to go out there and put in a performance for ninety minutes that the fans are going to accept. Our fans are not going to accept Tuesday night’s and we need to deal with that.”

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