Dunfermline Athletic

Cup can provide feel good factor

Tuesday, 23rd Mar 2021

“It’s a chance to hopefully win, get back on track and get a bit of a feel-good factor in the squad because we’re disappointed after Saturday.”

Greenock’s James Watt College was founded in 1907 with funds donated by Dunfermline born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie but Pars midfielder Steven Whittaker is hoping that is where the benevolence towards this Inverclyde town ends.

Dunfermline Athletic will approach Tuesday night’s Scottish Cup tie against Greenock Morton intent on progressing to the next round pledged the 36 year old player/coach:-

“It’s always nice to get a wee break in the season to try to get a cup run. That will be the aim, to progress, and we know we’ve got East Fife if we get through this.

“So, it’s a chance to hopefully win, get back on track and get a bit of a feel-good factor in the squad because we’re disappointed after Saturday.”

Of Dunfermline’s chances against Inverness Caley Thistle, Steven probably came closest to scoring:-

“I just tried to latch onto it at the edge of the box and it fell to me on my left. I hit it quite well but the goalie got down and it squirmed under his arms a little bit, but it wasn’t to be, maybe on another day.”

Even with league success being the ultimate goal and a heavy fixture schedule looming, turning attentions to the Scottish Cup makes no difference to the club’s desires to win games. Steven continued:-

“We’re fully aware that the congestion is going to be tough, there’s going to be a lot of midweek games and three games a week. Regardless of what the game is - cup or league - we go in to win it.

“Tuesday’s obviously the cup, so our focus will be on that first and foremost. Hopefully we’ll progress in that and then look to the Dundee fixture on Saturday.”

While everyone was disappointed to lose to Inverness on Saturday but Dunfermline beat Morton the previous Saturday, so hopefully that is a good omen.

“Morton’s the team we’ve probably played the most this season - we’ve had three games - and they were the first team to beat us at East End Park. We went there and got a 0-0 and we’ve beaten them back at home.

“It’s all been quite close. It will be tough down there, it’s a tough place to go and the pitch the last time we were down there wasn’t great. So, we’ll be fully aware of the type of game it might turn into but progression in the cup is the most important thing.”

Clearly with Scottish Cup ties, nine league games and hopefully four play off matches still to be played the matches that Whitts will take part in may need careful management, he added:-

“I’m up to speed. I manage my load during the week and put myself in a place to be fresh on a Saturday. I’ll speak with the manager and he’ll have certain games he’ll look to have me involved in because of what I bring to the team. There’ll be other games where it might suit other boys.

“We’re all on the same page, we all want success for the club. So, whether it’s me or it’s someone else, we’ll all get behind whoever’s playing.”

Of course with the competition between all the teams in the Championship being so close, selecting games will never be easy. Steven agreed:-

“You tend to think you know how the results might go and then you look at them afterwards and think you never saw that coming. It’s a league where everyone will take points off everyone and we’ve been guilty of slipping up when we would have liked to have taken the points in certain games.

“Even though we’re in the mix we believe we probably should have been a little bit clearer than what we are. But we are where we are and we’ll continue to look at it and attack it. It’s going to be a busy next couple of months but hopefully we’ll be in and around it and be in the play-offs in some kind of aspect, then take it from there.”



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