Dunfermline Athletic

Wise Men bearing no gifts

Sunday, 25th Dec 2016

Pars Christmas Spirit limited for the Boxing Day Derby.
"When we came into this division we were a wee bit naive at times.

Sean Murdoch`s Christmas wish was no different from most Pars fans - to make the end of season play offs. After the festivities of Christmas Day however the attention has to be on the Boxing Day match, a local Derby against Falkirk. The Pars keeper is looking forward to that one and the chance to make up for the reverse at The Falkirk Stadium in November, he said:

"We obviously tasted defeat the last time we played them and we know how much it means to the fans. There will be a good crowd and Falkirk will bring a big support. Hopefully we will be on our game to get the victory."

It is not only the fans that enjoy the atmosphere of Derby days, Sean described how players enjoy playing in local Derby games:-

"We all like to play in front of big crowds but the most important thing is three points. We need to get as many points on the board as we can to try and push up the table. That is all that I am focusing on.

"The distraction of the fans and how much they hate each other, I do not look into that too much. I just try to focus on the pitch and do my best to get the three points for the team."

Being a goalkeeper Sean does not get too wound up in the sentiments on the pitch, he said that he picks up on the atmosphere at the start when he comes out of the tunnel. He continued:-

"You see how much it means to the fans, how many people are there and you can assess the surroundings.

"Once the game starts you don`t really bother too much, well I don`t anyway unless a scuffle happens in the crowd. You`d have a wee look and see what`s going on up there" he smiled.

Falkirk are a club that is going for promotion, one of the pre season favourites and they have picked up 26 points from the first 17 matches. Sean continued:-

"Peter Houston has done a great job, they are always there or thereabouts. Last season they were unfortunate to get beat in the play off against Kilmarnock.

"This season they have picked up form again after a poor start. They have good depth in their squad and it was a hard game at the Falkirk Stadium last time.

"We have to make sure that we are up for the challenge. We believe in ourselves, we have a good squad and hopefully on the day we can produce and as I say, get the three points.

"Falkirk have been in the division for a number of years now and as the same as a few teams, they are really experienced in this division."

Sean feels that his Dunfermline side has wised up as they have travelled up a learning curve since promotion from League One:-

"When we came into this division we were a wee bit naive at times. Maybe attacking too much, leaving ourselves wide open at times and we got punished.

"The gaffer has rectified that now, we are more solid. Falkirk have experience throughout their squad and many of their players have played in this division for a number of years. They know exactly what they are up against and what they need to do to get the victory.

"That is something that is going to take time. The fans that come to most of our games can see that we are not so naive now and we are a lot more solid."

This season wins have been much more difficult to achieve than last season. Everyone realised that picking up points would not be as easy but that is probably a necessity now whether a win or a draw?

"Absolutely, last season we were winning games so with all respect to League One it wasn`t as good as this season`s division. We were scoring many goals, this season we tried to do the same in my opinion. We kept attacking too much, leaving gaps that teams exploited and we got punished.

"Now we are a lot more solid. The manager has rectified that and we are picking up points. Last week at Queens I thought we could have won but we got a point there.

"Picking up points here and there that is the most important thing and not getting beat. We are one of the form teams in the league so long may it continue."

Leaving Palmerston last week felt like a defeat because after getting ahead, the team only came away with a draw. Sean described the game as a game of two halves.

"First half we were awful. The manager and coaching staff made sure that we knew all about it. We were absolutely terrible and could have been further behind to be honest.

"Second half was a whole different story. People who came and watched the game know that we were excellent and we thoroughly deserved to be 2-1 in front.

"Queens are a good team, they have good strikers so if you give them an opportunity they will punish you and they did. A point more on the board is a point more than we had before the game.

"You have to look at the positives, rectify what we did wrong on the first half and then take that into the game on Monday."

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