Dunfermline Athletic

Moroccan form is no mirage

Friday, 19th Jan 2001

“Our away form has been good this trip” club captain Ian Ferguson reflects on Moroccan tour

Club captain Ian Ferguson firmly believes that Dunfermline will be boarding aeroplanes much more often in the future. He is a seasoned traveller in the purpose of football and suggests that we are still to see the real potential at Dunfermline blossom. This trip to Morocco has been excellent and has helped to further increase the very good team spirit that he himself plays such a large part in developing.

Fergie took time out from the team’s post dinner chat to explain:-

“They are a good bunch of boys. I have only been at Dunfermline a year now, there have been boys here a lot longer than I have; Stewart Petrie, Scott Thomson, Jason Dair and so on. There is good camaraderie amongst them.

“Having been somewhere for 12 years and coming in it was a bit strange at first but they have made me very welcome. I have settled in quite quickly and it must be the same for Barry; you can see it in his performances.

“The match against Willem II we knew was going to be a very hard game. They are top class opposition that we see on television in the Champions League and so it was a great result for us. The boys played really well particularly in the first half where we should have had three or four goals maybe.

“The second half the gaffer changed the whole team about and although we started off a wee bit sticky losing an early goal but we came back and got the winner through David Moss. From then on in I thought that there was only one team in it.

“The second game you don’t really know what you are going to. It was a typical friendly game but it was a great result for us and the boys used it really well. We played some really good stuff especially second half. The second goal was one of the best goals that I have seen in a while.

“It was a great move. Jason Dair played the ball in Gary Mason played the one two with Stevie Crawford, he came off his man then chipped it over, chased it and then Lee Bullen put it away.

“The Moroccans were applauding Dunfermline when we were keeping the ball. They were quite complimentary to the team; you don’t get many home supporters actually cheering the away team.”

This is a far cry from the Dunfermline Athletic that Ian Ferguson joined last winter when Clydebank, Airdrie and Morton were the opposition. This season’s fixture list not only includes Raja Casablanca and Willem II but also Arsenal and Feyenoord with yet another big name to be fixed up for the international Saturday in March. Did he expect that Dunfermline could achieve something?

“I did actually because the manager has got high standards. I just think that this is the tip of the iceberg. I think that there is a lot more to come from Dunfermline. I feel that they can move on to bigger things and I just hope that I am right. The manager is very ambitious and so is the Chairman.

“It was a great result for the manager especially against his old Dutch counterparts and getting the result over Raja. Not only getting the result though but also the manner in which we played. I thought the boys did really really well.”

Ian Ferguson acknowledges that the team are playing with great belief in themselves and now have got their targets firmly placed on a top six finish.

“It has been a great start to the season for us and now that is our main aim. We are there with sixth, seventh and eighth all tied on 30 points. It is going to be very hard but at the end of the day we are grateful to be in the Premier League. We have come up from last year in the First Division and have adapted better than what St Mirren has. To be where we are is a great achievement in itself, we can only build on it and hopefully go from strength to strength.

“We have a great home record but we still have one or two things we have got to sort out for away games. That seems to be letting us down a bit. Our away form has been good this trip, if we can carry that on into the Premier League and the Scottish Cup then so maybe.”

So things are changing at East End Park and Fergie is delighted to be included in it

“I am just glad that the manager came and got me from Ibrox; there was nothing happening for me there. It was time to move on although I loved my time there. Dunfermline gave me the opportunity to play in the First Division and now we are in the Premier League and hopefully we can stay there.”

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