Dunfermline Athletic

Pars fans can play their part

Tuesday, 20th Jul 2021

Craig Wighton:- “With the fans there it definitely drives you on to keep going and keep trying to score more goals.”

Early indications after a resounding 5-1 victory over Dumbarton last Saturday, are that Peter Grant’s new look Dunfermline side are out to launch a really strong challenge for the Championship title this season and make East End Park the fortress that has brought success to Halbeath Road in the past.

Striker Craig Wighton now a fully signed up Par after his loan last season, revealed that there is feel good factor around the club after such a commanding victory in the first match of the season at East End Park but the pressure will continue working hard in training:-

“It always helps after a performance and result like that but a this stage of the season there are not many days that are rest days. So more tough sessions before another game this weekend to look forward to.”

When a new manager comes in, everyone is wonder what is in store for them but the 23 year old is happy with the impact already made by Peter Grant and his coaching team of Greg Shields and Steven Whittaker:-

“It has been really good. I think the performances have been good but obviously we’re still learning his ideas and the way he wants to play, so there will be mistakes at times just now. We are definitely learning quickly and hopefully we can no keep putting in good performances and we’ll see where that takes us.

“The manager has different ideas, every manager does, so it was going to take us time to get used to that. Everyone has bought into that and it’s been very good so far.”

After scoring four goals against Partick Thistle and five against Dumbarton it would appear the three man attack with Craig alongside Kevin O’Hara and Nikolay Todorov is in the hunt for a lot more when the league campaign kicks off away to Morton a week on Saturday. Craig is pleased with the shape of the team and the attacking emphasis:-

“It’s a lot better having the three of us up there and we’re all probably different as well, in terms of what we bring. I think it’s a good balance and a good mix, and it’s up to the three of us to keep performing well to stay in the team and make him keep us in the team for as long as possible.”

Success has been especially forthcoming with wing-backs Kyle Macdonald and Josh Edwards supplying plentiful inviting deliveries. The former Hearts striker described their contribution of the two 21 year olds as brilliant and he hopes that will continues.

“The weekend was really good but obviously we’ll play against better opposition than that, so there’s a few things we need to tidy up on. Overall it’s been a good start and, especially with the wing-backs, the quality has been really good so far.

“It makes such a difference when the ball goes wide and you know you’re getting good quality into the box. So, if we just get ourselves in there and they can keep producing deliveries like that then hopefully the three of us will all score plenty of goals this season.

“With the defenders stepping in and the three centre-backs and the midfielders, the way the manager wants to play we all need to be comfortable on the ball and take the ball anywhere.

“We are still not really up to full fitness, so I think by the time we’re properly fit and we’ve made the wee tweaks we need to make and worked on the things we need to work on then from the start of the league campaign we’ll put them right and give it our best shot.”

With the competitive nature of the Scottish Championship which this season includes clubs with serious intentions to win promotion the need to hit the ground running in the league this season would seem even more important than last. Craig continued:-

“It is going to be a tough league - it is every year in the Championship. I don’t think people realise how tough it is. There are no bad teams and everyone can beat everyone. So, it’s up to us to hit the ground running and hopefully go on a good run, and show everyone else in the league what we’re about.

“We want teams in the league to dread coming here, that’s a big thing for us. It’s up to us to do that. We’ve made a good start in the cup and we obviously want to go as far as we can in that but at the end of the day, the league is the most important thing. We need to be challenging at the top end of the league and we need to get off to a good start to achieve that.

“It’s been good so far but we know we can be a lot better as well, and it’s up to us to show that. If we do hit the ground running, we want teams to fear us this season, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

An additional perceived advantage is the return of fans to matches and the East End faithful can also play there part this season suggested Craig who was pleased to score his first Dunfermline goal in front of fans on Saturday:-

“It had been a long time, so it was nice. It will be good when we can get them all back in, but it was a good start. It makes such a difference and it was pleasing that we put on that performance and got that result as well.

“I don’t have many celebrations in my locker, but it was nice to have them back in. I think at times last season even if we went a goal or two up it was probably easier to just keep the ball.

“When the fans are there they drive you on to get that third and that fourth. I think you saw that at the weekend and we could have scored a lot more goals in the end, looking at the chances.

“With the fans there it definitely drives you on to keep going and keep trying to score more goals.”



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