Dunfermline Athletic

Aird salutes international boss

Monday, 23rd Oct 2017

"I thought that I was different class to be honest .....

After picking up the Man of the Match award in Saturday`s Championship win over Livingston, Fraser Aird paid tribute to Octavio Zambrano the Ecuadorian/American manager of Canada for having faith to play him in the recent friendly in Houston, Texas against El Salvador. The honour of winning his eight international cap was a major boost to the 22 year old who at that time, had only started one league match since joining Dunfermline at the start of this season. He told the media:-

"It is always good to be called up by your national team. It has been tough for me not playing as much as I want to since I arrived here. It is credit to the manager of the national team putting faith in me. He knew that I wasn`t playing but he knew that I could come and do a job.

"I went away, played 65 minutes and did well, just a pity about the result (0-1) but he has faith in me.

"When I came back I was training well and working my socks off since I have been here waiting for my chance. The team was doing well and I just had to bide my time. I have waited and waited but got my chance on Saturday to prove to everybody what I could do."

Aird started in two of Dunfermline`s Irn Bru Cup ties, until Saturday just one league game at Livingston and had come off the bench just once in the home win over Falkirk. The match versus Livingston on Saturday then was just his second league start but he certainly grasped the opportunity he has been waiting for.

"In the last three games we have dropped below par and not been at it like we had been from the start of the season. I think the manager had to switch it up a bit and I got my chance."

Modesty was not something that Aird was going to demonstrate as he cheerfully added "I thought that I was different class to be honest. There is no other way to put it, I thought I was good and took my goal well.

"I set up Higgy`s goal, had a good run for the first goal. We got a bit of luck but sometimes that happens in football. I am delighted with my performance and I am sure that the manager will be delighted with me too."

Fraser sent the ball past his former Rangers team mate, Neil Alexander. The pair featured regularly for the Gers during season 2012-2013. He joked:-

"I used to do that all the time in training. He is a great keeper. Livingston came into the game flying, they have been doing really well and were one point in front of us before the game kicked off. It just shows you how well their manager had them playing.

"We knew that it was a massive game for us. We had three bad results running, they beat Dundee United the week before but coming back home we knew that we had to get a result. We went out there and proved it on Saturday.

"I am hopeful that I will get another chance to start next week up at Inverness. If I keep playing like that hopefully I can keep myself in the team."

Fraser has never played a competitive match at the Caledonian Stadium and if he is to start he is aware that he will need to win preference over Joe Cardle who returned on Saturday from five weeks injured as an 81st minute substitute for Aird. Despite missing the last three matches in the Championship Joe with six is still the division`s leading goalscorer. Aird expressed his sympathy for his team mate:-

"Joe has been really unlucky. He came in flying at the start of the season, was really unlucky to get his injury but that is what happens in football. Other boys get chances, Hoppy came in and scored but now he is injured again, then I got my chance and went on and scored. It is my jersey to keep now and if I keep putting in performances like that then hopefully I will stay in the team."

Canada have not yet got a fixture in the next international break but Octavio Zambrano is still hopeful that he can arrange an international friendly.



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