Michael gets off the mark

Michael O’Halloran made his mark on Saturday scoring the third Dunfermline goal to secure a convincing 3-1 home win against Morton. The second victory in consecutive weeks delighted both the fans and the player whose goal came swiftly after Morton had reduced the Pars lead to 2-1, just eight minutes from the end of the 90 minutes. Recognising the importance of his 89th minute goal, Michael said:-

“I think it was a really good performance, especially in the first half. We should have been out of sight to be honest with the chances we created. We made it a little nervy for ourselves with them getting that goal.”

Dunfermline’s ability to break on the counter-attack to secure the third goal sealed the three points. For Michael his goal was not only a personal achievement but also reward for the team’s impressive performance. He continued:-

“It is always nice to score; anybody will tell you that there’s no better feeling. I’m just happy to play a part in the team and if we are winning and I can contribute, that’s the main thing. That’s two weeks in a row we have been really good. Even looking at last week we were good but I think we pushed on again this week and upped it. Looking ahead to next weekend, hopefully, we can go again.”

Michael O’Halloran’s journey with Dunfermline began on 9th July this year and he has now started the club’s last six matches. The road there was not without its obstacles, as he missed four matches after making his debut as a substitute in the opening League Cup match due to an injury. He reflected on that frustrating period:-

“Of course but the medical staff are really good here. It was one of those annoying ones, it wasn’t too serious but it derails you because I ended up missing the League Cup games. That was annoying but I’ve been working hard, and it is all credit to the staff, the medical team, the gaffer, and the backroom team.

“It was always going to take time to get up to speed and in terms of minutes. I feel that in training I am getting stronger and fitter. Training is all good and well but as well you need matches. You get that match sharpness by continuously playing, and I feel I’m getting that. As the weeks progress, I’m feeling that bit better.”

Michael is enjoying his football at Dunfermline and claimed that the club’s attractive style of play was one of the main reasons he came to play in West Fife:-

“Obviously, it is a big club, but when I spoke to the gaffer I liked the way they play, they are young and hungry. You see they will pass the ball and they are very brave to get on it. It is really enjoyable for me to play in.”

Nineteen year old loanee Ben Summers was named Man of the Match, and like Joe Chalmers before him, both Owen Moffat and Ewan Otoo, they have all come through the Celtic Academy. Michael was not surprised by the quality that they show:- 

“They are really good footballers and they have come from a really good background. They are young as well and only going to get better as they get minutes.”

Dunfermline’s promising start to the season now sees them sitting fourth in the Championship. Michael acknowledged the good start but remained focused on the future:-

“We are disappointed with the points that we have dropped – especially the ones here at home to Raith. I think we didn’t deserve to lose that and the Dundee United one, I think we deserved to win that as well.

“It is a highly competitive league. I think you saw that last year especially when it was going into the last day absolute bedlam. I think it will be quite similar this year, I think there is not much between the teams. It is a good start but it’s only a start. We will push on and hopefully we can continue and be there or thereabouts. That has got to be the aim.”

Michael’s optimism for the season ahead is supported by the ability to bring on Owen Moffat and Alex Jakubiak against Morton. He feels having such quality players to come off the bench is of great benefit to the team.

“You can see what Jak brings, he is strong, he is physical, he will take the ball in. It is good we have the two strikers to come on. When they got their goal we had Jak and Owen, they are both different. Owen will take the ball and he will drive, Jak is strong and he will link up the play.

“It is good that the gaffer will maybe have a headache at some point but it’s good to have these options. When you look at the boys that we have out, it is all positive and good signs.”

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