Dunfermline’s opening league game will be against Airdrieonians and for midfielder Joe Chalmers it will be his ninth league campaign. He believes that the Pars team will be “raring to go” come Saturday 5th August.
“We came back and we played four or five friendlies, and were then straight into the cup with four games in quick succession. With a small squad, it’s been tough, and the way we play, we’ve put a lot into those games. We try and play with a high energy, so it does take a lot out of you.
“Everybody would probably like to have that slightly bigger squad but, for us as players, I think everybody’s playing, everybody’s got minutes, boys are coming on, so we’ve enjoyed this part of the season. Obviously, we’ve been unlucky with a few injuries that have come, but everybody’s had good minutes, everybody’s fit, so that’s one positive of having a small squad.”
With the exception of the first half in the last match against Albion Rovers, Joe believes performances have created a momentum to take into the first league game of the season, but he claimed that there’s still a lot to work on but with the rest and extra training they will be sharper come the Airdrieonians game:-
“You need to keep reminding yourself that it’s not even August yet. You’re at the end of July, and you’ve played five friendlies, and four cup games. You’re nine games in.
“I think the good thing is that we’ve got that wee break, and then you’ll have that buzz back and be ready to go for the first league game. Everything will be building towards that, so I’m looking forward to that.”
The final Viaplay Cup group game was a win over Albion Rovers but the manager and players were unhappy with the performance. They will use the time before the league starts to rectify parts of their game that they are unhappy with. The 29 year old looked back on the 3-0 win:-
“We went there to get the win, and try and score a few goals to give ourselves a chance to get through to the next round. Obviously, the performance could’ve been better, and we could’ve played better, but we got there in the end.
“It was a good surface so we wanted to put on a performance, and build on what we work on in training. We probably worked the ball into good areas, and then it was just the final ball, over the course of the game, just probably wasn’t there. It was either overhit, or the delivery into the box wasn’t quite there, so that’s something we’ll need to work on. Before the first league game we can look at stuff, work on it, and hopefully put it right come the Airdrie game.”
Airdrieonians have made an impressive start to the season with four straight wins in the Viaplay Cup including over Premiership Dundee and away to Inverness Caley Thistle. Joe confessed that the Diamonds recent success was no surprise to him:-
“Last season, every game we played them was tough. They were tight games, they’re well organised and play some nice football with some really good players.
“I’m not surprised with those results at all. We were never going to take them lightly anyway because we played against them last season and we know exactly what they’re capable of. There was a couple of games where they probably feel they should’ve beaten us, so there’s a lot of hard work ahead. We’ll do our work on Airdrie and how we’re going to play, so it should be a good game to open the league up.”