Jim Jefferies backs Tommy Craig – but not tonight

Tommy Craig: Under pressure. Picture: SNS
Tommy Craig: Under pressure. Picture: SNS
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Jim Jefferies has backed under-fire St Mirren manager Tommy Craig as he bids to deepen his counterpart’s woes by steering his Dunfermline side to a League Cup shock in Paisley tonight.

Craig’s side have suffered successive defeats to Motherwell, Hamilton Accies and Dundee, since he moved up from his previous role as assistant to replace Danny Lennon in the summer.

The Buddies are only being kept off the bottom of the Premiership table thanks to Ross County’s poorer goal difference but Craig insists he will stick to his gameplan and will be hopeful that a cup win against the League One Pars can kick-start their season.

Jefferies is keen to see his fellow-63-year-old do well, but only after providing him with another setback tonight.

The Dunfermline boss said: “I don’t think he’ll be under pressure from St Mirren as a club, it will be more from the media and a wee bit from the fans.

“They’ve got to give him time. It’s all right being the coach and advising the manager but the manager has to stand and fall by his own decisions, and sometimes, just like here, the coaches don’t agree with the manager.

“But you get on with it and he’ll have the final say now.

“People shouldn’t be too critical at this stage. He’s only just in there, he’s got to get them believing that what he’s doing is right. I hope after they play us it does come right for him.”

After a disappointing start in the league, Dunfermline – who hammered Annan Athletic 5-1 in the last round – will go into the tie buoyed by a 3-0 win over Airdrie at the weekend and Jefferies is relishing not being the favourites for a change.

Jefferies, who has signed 19-year-old former Rangers and Coventry City defender Stuart Urquhart on a one-year deal, added: “All the pressure will be on St Mirren and that will be 
different. They’ll be itching to get off the mark but there’s no pressure on us, we can just go and play. Our priority is in the league but this is a chance for our players to make a wee name for themselves and to get into the next round.”