Dunfermline Athletic

Declan expects added spice in derby

Thursday, 8th Oct 2020

“I am sure that the two teams will be fired up for a derby and make an atmosphere for themselves.”

During season 2017-2018 Declan McManus played for Dunfermline in five derby games against Falkirk. His record won three, drawn one and lost one, two goals and one red card.

Last season Declan was on loan at Falkirk where he played 34, won 18, drew 10 and lost 6. He scores 24 times and was shown one red card.

No surprise then that the 26 year old who rejoined Dunfermline in June this year is looking forward to Friday night’s televised Betfred Cup tie between the two rivals. He told the website:-

“Obviously it has added interest for me after playing for Falkirk last season. It is just another game but it is a big game. It is going to be a tough test, they have a good team and play good football.

“There are still a lot of the team there that I played with last year. I know them well and they will know me well but anything can happen on the day and I look forward to coming up against them.”

Falkirk finished second to Raith Rovers in League One last season. Undefeated in the league since November, the Bairns fancied their chances of overtaking the Rovers in the final eight fixtures.

Declan scored the equaliser at Starks Park in what turned out to be the penultimate match and had he managed another it would have been Falkirk who would have been playing in this season’s Championship. Falkirk will feel that they have a point to prove after that disappointing end to the 2019-2020 season.

“Being part of that at the time was horrible. We felt that we were going to go on and win the league and I think a lot of other people thought that as well but these are unprecedented times and there was nothing that we could have done about it. It was taken out of our hands.

“They have kept a lot of the same squad, a good squad at that and they have added good players as well. I think they will be up and around challenging and in terms of us playing them on Friday it will be a hard game.

“They have a team of boys who have played at a high level, they have played for big clubs and won things. I know that last year they thought that they were a Championship-quality team. We showed that in the cup games last year, we played against Arbroath and Hearts and more than held our own.

“I have told the boys in the Dunfermline dressing room that it not going to be an easy game. Especially for the Falkirk boys there is that added bit coming up against a Championship team and they want to show that they are of the same quality.

“There is always added spice in Dunfermline v Falkirk games, there always has been in the ones that I have played in. On Friday it will be no different on the park even though the fans will not be there to create an atmosphere but I am sure that the two teams will be fired up for a derby and make an atmosphere for themselves.”

Declan was a 73rd minute sub on Tuesday night at the C&G Systems Stadium and he felt despite the inclement weather that Dunfermline came through it well:-

“It was really nice to get our first competitive win. Dumbarton is a tough place to come at the best of times, sometimes the pitch can be a bit boggy although it was decent on Tuesday.

“It wasn’t going to be beautiful football straight away. The most important thing was the three points and starting off with a win to go into another big game on Friday.

“I missed a couple of games in pre season just with a slight hamstring strain and so I have probably not had the number of minutes that the rest have had but it was good to get on and play my part. It is a different feel when it is a competitive game.”

There didn’t look much wrong with his hamstring when he sped up the right wing near the end. He laughed and added:-

“I just saw the chance, he kind of gambled and got a bit too tight. I saw the space so I thought I would give the hamstring a test. Thankfully it is back to normal.”



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