Ewan welcomes added experience

Dunfermline Athletic defender Ewan Otoo remains upbeat and positive despite the team’s wretched run of form ahead of Saturday’s vital bottom of the table clash with Arbroath.

The Pars have lost all four home games since their win over Arbroath in November and now sit second bottom in the Championship. Ewan has started all but two of the Pars 28 matches this season and the 21 year old signed from Celtic in the summer insists the squad are in good spirits and focused on turning things around.  He further claims that manager James McPake doesn’t need to lift the players, rather the squad are staying positive collectively.

“I don’t think he needs to. I think, as a group we’re all positive. We all know what we need to do, we all know that the way to go is to be positive and to be upbeat, that’s when you get the best out of us as a group.  The standard in training has been good, we’re all looking to the next game. 

“We’re just focusing on doing all we can to put in the best performance we can then that will yield the result and hopefully we can kick on from there. It’s just about getting that win on the board then go from there.”

Morton were struggling at the foot of the table when Dunfermline beat them 2-1 in November but after a run of ten league games undefeated they currently sit fourth. Ewan pointed out that a few wins can completely change your league position.

“You don’t need to look too far. You see they were struggling a bit and then they managed to turn around their form. We as a team, we know that if we can start to put in better performances, we can really turn around our season.

“The type of league it is, obviously it’s my first season experience with it, I’ve seen that a couple of wins can really change the way the league table looks for you. It can really change the way the season looks for you.  We are just looking to get the first win and then kick on from there.

“It can change so quickly in this league, that’s what we’re kind of seeing week in, week out. All of us are seeing that, so that’s our motivation to pick up wins and then we can be the ones that are pushing further up.”

Everyone acknowledges that it is a young team missing experienced players through injuries but that’s the one thing Ewan won’t use as an excuse. 

“We don’t want injuries as an excuse, we don’t use the fact that we’re young as an excuse.  We all believe we are good enough to do better than we have been doing in recent weeks.  I think we need to believe in ourselves a little bit more, then that confidence will come, we’ll be able to perform to the best of our ability and then go from there.  Hopefully, we can show that on Saturday.”

Experienced help has been added to the squad this week with the signing of Chris Kane on-loan from St Johnstone and Ewan added:-

“It’s going to be good for us, especially adding that experience. The know-how, a leader and a player we can look to on the pitch when perhaps it might not be going so well.  He’s been in that situation time and time again, so hopefully he can help us to come out of our situation.”

Dunfermline have now gone eight games since their last win at Airdrie on 9th December. Of the starting eleven that won that day only Craig Wighton is currently unavailable. Ewan reflected:-

“When you go back to that game, there were a lot of players who are present now, so we just need to refocus our intention on just performing. When we perform, we know we might not get the result we want, but on any given day if we do perform to our best, we do feel we will get a result.  That’s the baseline for everything at the minute, just looking to get a performance that we feel we did get in that Airdrie game.  Get back to those levels, those intensity levels, organisation levels which was shown in that game and put it into the game on Saturday.”

James McPake has said several times that he would like to deploy Ewan Otoo in a midfield role. That would be Ewan’s preferred position but injuries have continually caused him to patrol in defence:-

“Every time I started in midfield this season, I’ve not managed to finish the game in midfield. Whether something happens, a defender gets injured, I get moved back. I do really like playing in defence but I think that is something we are trying to work on. If certain players come back from injury or certain players come in, hopefully I can get into midfield and show more what I can do particularly going forward and provide a different kind of threat that we need as a team as well.”

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