Dunfermline Athletic

Ryan ready for festive fight

Friday, 13th Dec 2019

“Dundee haven’t won in four games and they will be looking to get a result because they are at home and the table is that close.

The pantomime season is in full swing and there will be a typical villain’s welcome for Ryan Dow when he runs out at the Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park on Saturday. Having made over 100 appearances for Dundee United and even though it was over five years ago now there is likely to be no forgiving for scoring against the Dee in a 4-1 derby day match there.

Ryan also played a part in a Ross County win there so the Dundee born Par has all the qualities required to cast him as the boo boy when the curtain comes up for this Championship fixture. Having expected to be selected to speak, he told the media this week:-

“I will probably get the same abuse as I did the last time but I’m looking forward to it. In the first game we played them this season I took a bit of abuse.”

That Friday night he was able to share what was hurled at him with team mate and former Dundee United captain, Paul Paton. Ryan opened the scoring just 13 minutes into the match and if his ears hadn’t felt the heat from the away support they certainly did thereafter.

“I was able to contain myself. I stay in Dundee so I will contain myself, I don’t want to be getting abuse in the streets if I score again. Hopefully we will get a good result. Me and maybe Pates if he is playing as well, will get a bit of abuse but when you have played for United you have come to expect it.”

The SPFL season opener on 2nd August was a thrilling 2-2 draw shown live on BBC Scotland. Fifteen league games have been played since but Ryan hopes to replicate the thrilling performance that the Pars kicked off with:-

“It seems a long time ago but I’m sure if we can put in even half the performance we did in the first half we will do well. I thought that we were outstanding in that first half, it was just a couple of decisions that we felt went against us. It is over now, it was a point and they did well to come back into the game.”

Given the opening night performances everyone expected both teams to be challenging for top four places but the journey to their current third and sixth places have been a bit of a rollercoaster.

“We knew from the League Cup campaign that we had started the season well, we started that game well and then obviously had a decent showing against Celtic. We had a wee blip, we are still a new team but we knew that we had the makings of a good team. The last ten games or so, minus a couple of results - one in the Cup and at Alloa, we have clicked, playing really well together and gelling.”

As the season has progressed there is no doubt that success has come with Ryan, Greg Kiltie and Andy Ryan combining so well with Kevin Nisbet. Yes collectively the team is playing well at the moment especially going forward but Ryan was quick to point out there was more to it than just the front men:-

“I wouldn’t say it is just us. There are a lot of boys chipping in and playing well. Andy Ryan has been up there as a front four, there’s boys behind like Kyle Turner and Tom Beadling in the last couple of games. It is not as if they are just sitting there protecting, they are getting forward as well. Harry Cochrane and Paul Paton have been the deeper ones to kind of patrol.

“As an attacking threat we have been really good in the last couple of months and obviously Nizzy has been on fire especially in the last week with seven goals. He has been unbelievable but it gives you a lift knowing that we have someone like him upfront.

“Andy Ryan has gone unnoticed because Nizzy has been scoring the goals but he was up top with him, caused a lot of threat and set up a few of his goals as well.”

Ryan Dow’s contribution has been equally important going back as much as going forward and his manager is on record paying tribute to the 28 year olds defensive qualities, Ryan continued:-

“I have been like that since I was young. Especially if you are in a wide area, it is not all about going forward. You need to put your shift in going back the way. You don’t want to leave your full back one on one or two v one.

“It is a hard shift going up and down but it is never as hard when you are winning games. We work hard as a team and I’m sure Kiltie will be the same on the left. It is always easier when you are winning. It is hard graft, there is no one in the team who is a passenger everyone works their socks off every week. I think as a team we are young, have a lot of energy and always work up and down.

“Dundee haven’t won in four games and they will be looking to get a result because they are at home and the table is that close. We are ahead of them just now, it will be a tough one but we are going in after a week where it couldn’t have gone any better.

“In preparation for it we had three tough games, the two homes games with Ayr away sandwiched in the middle. It was a difficult run in, obviously to take nine points from it is unbelievable. We will go there full of confidence and hopefully they are not as confident because of their run.”

Dunfermline will want to start the game well and hope to get the all important first goal:-

“I don’t want to say it too much but it will be our plan to start well and put them under pressure. We know what could happen and it will not be a nice place to be if you are their players, especially at home with maybe four or five thousand people getting on their backs.”

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