Dunfermline boss Stevie Crawford shows no bitterness in Celtic loss

By David Walton

August 18, 2019

Dunfermline Athletic manager Stevie Crawford has shown some real class in his post-match comments after the Celtic defeat.

Crawford’s Dunfermline came to Parkhead and set themselves up in a 4-5-1 formation. Unfortunately, that’s all it took for Celtic to start getting confused when it came to breaking them down. The Pars looked comfortable for large portions of the match, and equalised through Tom Beadling with 13 minutes remaining.

In the end, it would be heartache for the Championship side. Celtic had too much individual quality on the day, and it would be consistent saviour James Forrest who nabbed the winner.

Dunfermline Athletic scored a fine equaliser at Parkhead yesterday (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Many would perhaps be expecting Crawford to make some over-the-top, frustrated comments post-match. But, in words published by Dunfermline’s official website, he was quick to provide positive comments about both sides.

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“To come to Celtic, restrict them to the chances that we did and then score a good goal ourselves I am just really disappointed for the boys.

“Celtic are a very good side and we knew the task when we were drawn against them. To come away disappointed is credit to the work rate that the boys put into the team.

“To come to Celtic who have been phenomenal for a number of years now, our performance speaks volumes for the way that we have come and conducted themselves.”

Stevie Crawford shows real level-headedness

In some instances after heartbreak such as the level of it Dunfermline experienced, managers can come out and be a bit over-the-top. But there was none of the “we deserved to win” nonsense from Crawford here. Nothing about how poor Celtic played or any nonsense about controlling the game.

It’s refreshing to see, and he’ll be the first to admit that Celtic simply ended up having too much quality in the end.

Stevie Crawford’s conduct was classy all throughout the tie (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s the kind of honesty that would’ve been nice to see from our own gaffer at the end. Instead of hailing the players’ character and boasting about domination, it would’ve been better for Lenny to come out and call the performance what it was – extremely disappointing.

Lenny is, of course, in a tough spot. He’ll be trying to keep the peace. He’s managing a clearly confidence-shot squad after they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

But these cup matches mean a lot to the supporters. There was still a decent number inside Parkhead yesterday. At £15-£20 worth, they deserved better than what they were provided. Yesterday felt too much like cup exits to Morton and Aberdeen under Lennon around six years ago. We simply can’t go back to those days.

Neil Lennon was clearly angry yesterday during the game, but didn’t show it post-match (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And, if Lenny wants to at least relate to supporters, he has to say when he’s got things wrong or when the team hasn’t played well.

Crawford certainly gets pass marks from everyone after his post-match comments. Lennon, however, still needs to work his approach.