Dunfermline Athletic

Declan off at the Double

Monday, 24th Jul 2017

"If we can keep that up in the league season then hopefully we can fire the team to a successful campaign."

Athletic`s new signing Declan McManus was really pleased to get off the mark with two goals against Peterhead on Saturday. He felt that the goals had been coming in this, only his third competitive game for the club:-

"I have had a few chances in the other games and it was getting to the point that I was getting a bit annoyed that I wasn`t scoring. In those other games I have played my part - in the likes of Nicky`s goals so I wasn`t too hard on myself. Thankfully on Saturday I managed to get a couple."

After signing in June from local rivals Raith Rovers, Declan has been delighted by the way he has been accepted by the East End fans. He scored twice and was victorious in both of two matches for Morton against Dunfermline but in three games for Raith against Dunfermline last season he was a member of a side that failed to score in 270 minutes of play. That is unlikely to alienate many Pars fans:-

"I work as hard as I possibly can for my teammates, manager and the fans. There will be some that hold the Raith Rovers thing against me but everybody is entitled to their opinion but it will not stop me working as hard as I can for the club."

Declan`s goals came one in each half but he did have a very good chance ten minutes from full time when he was supplied a fine pass from Kallum Higginbotham.

"It was kind of one on one but I have had a bad knee for the last week or two and I just twinged it as I went to strike. I will use that as an excuse as to why I missed it.

"I am just delighted with the two (goals) and if you had offered me that before the game I would have taken it."

The 22 year old, whose contract at Fleetwood Town ended at the end of last season, pointed out how important it was for a striker to get off the mark at the beginning of the season:-

"It is a massive thing and shoots your confidence right up going into the league games in two weeks time. We also have a big game against Hearts and we can go into that with confidence especially after the way we have played in the three Betfred games.

"I know we had a 0-0 draw with East Fife but they defended really well on the day. We played some great stuff and created some great chances. We are in very good shape going into the Hearts game and I am sure that we will give them a really tough test."

Declan made his debut in Scottish football as a 17 year playing for Aberdeen in their 3-0 defeat to the Pars at East End Park back in April 2012. That day Joe Cardle was one of the Pars scorers but on Saturday he found himself back on the same park but this time challenging Joe in an opportunity to score a hattrick against Peterhead. Declan praised the supply that both Joe Cardle and Kallum Higginbotham provided for him:-

"It makes it easier for the likes of me and Nicky if we know that the wide men have the ability to drop it right on your head and it is always a big plus for a striker. The both of them are and they get the ball in as soon as they are out wide. It makes it a lot easier to score goals."

Despite knowing Nicky Clark for a number of years through the `Aberdeen connection`, Declan has never before had an opportunity to form a striking partnership with him. He continued:-

"I think the two of us work well, we are similar players but have different attributes. With Nicky getting four the other day and me getting two on Saturday, if we can keep that up in the league season then hopefully we can fire the team to a successful campaign."

It did not go unnoticed that his partner set Declan up for his first goal but he claimed that Nicky was `due him one`!

"I think I set up a couple for him in the first game. That is how it works, sometimes I will set Nicky up to get a goal then sometimes Nicky will set me up. I am happy to play a part in anybody scoring but it always nice to help your striking partner to score as well."

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