Dunfermline Athletic

Dow delighted to be back home

Wednesday, 23rd Feb 2022

“We need to perform on Saturday and put in a string of results and a string of performances for a long period of the game.”

The old hometown looks the same is the opening line of the famous Tom Jones number and its title rings true as Dunfermline prepare for their first home match for over a month. Ryan Dow has encountered a torturous travel schedule as Dunfermline’s fixtures took them to Dumfries, Ayr and Kilmarnock in successive weekends. This week he suggested that it will be good to touch the green green grass of home:-

“Tell me about it, it has been an absolute journey from hell with three away games back to back, especially for me because I live the furthest away. It will be good to get back on our home pitch. We like playing on a good pitch, obviously grass rather than on AstroTurf. We have had a couple of AstroTurf surfaces in the last three weeks so it will be good to get back on the grass on our own pitch.”

In their last two home matches the Pars have won one against Hamilton Academical and drawn one against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Everyone is hoping that home form will resume when Kilmarnock come to town. Ryan continued:-

“The last game was against Inverness. We were poor in the first half but we came out in the second half and played really well. There was a penalty decision with five minutes to go that could have swung our way again and it could have been a win. These are those fine margins but all the boys are looking forward to it.”

Especially after coming off the defeat at Kilmarnock, Ryan agreed with the old cliche that you just want the next game to come as soon as possible.

“It would have been a good game on Friday night, I always like playing on Friday nights in the Championship. It is a better atmosphere and it is always a decent game so the postponement was disappointing. You had a feeling that was going to happen when you saw the weather forecast the day before. I think any game would have been off.”

With the Partick Thistle match a victim of the wet weather, Dunfermline find themselves facing Kilmarnock back to back, so can the result be turned around in the Fifers’ favour?

“It is just being clinical and we had the chance to go ahead from the penalty. We didn’t score that, which often happens in football. I think the manager touched on it after the game. We played really well for maybe an hour of that game and after going a goal ahead, for some reason we just dropped off.

“We were disappointed but don’t get me wrong, Kilmarnock came into it, they played really well and put us under the cosh for the last twenty five minutes. We just need to try and put a performance together for 90 minutes rather than half hour spells here or a first half here.

“But even in the abandoned game when we played against them earlier in the season, we played really well and there was a 2-2 game out here near the start of the season in which I thought both teams played well.

“These have been really good games and I’m sure that it will be another good one. We just need to try and get over the line this time, especially if we go a goal to the good like we did a couple of weeks ago, we need to keep pushing rather than doing that natural thing of sitting back.

“Sometimes that happens in football, sometimes you don’t mean to do it, you just naturally drop back. There have been other games where we have gone a goal up but stopped doing the things that made us go a goal up.”

After conceding the equaliser midway through the second half, the home crowd made sure that their team got a lift. In allowing themselves to be pinned back, Ryan felt that as a team they need to be better than that:-

“We need to keep pressing them and staying on top. In the last couple of months we have had a lot of good performances but maybe not for the full game. We need to perform on Saturday and put in a string of results and a string of performances for a long period of the game.”

A string of results is becoming increasingly important and it is impossible to ignore the results elsewhere with Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory for Morton over Partick Thistle a stand out. Ryan admitted that you always keep an eye on what else is happening in the Championship and the run of form by some in the bottom half of the league:-

“It is like the league has flipped a bit. Even though we got beat at Kilmarnock before that we had gone four games unbeaten after our defeat to Morton. You see Morton, who were defeated at the weekend, but they had been on a good run. Ayr have been on a good run and it is like the teams near the bottom are hitting a wee bit of form. Teams just above are slipping a wee bit but that is just this league.

“I think people touch on it all the time, every team can beat each other and it’s true. You go into every game and no matter whether you are top of the league or bottom of the league, there is not often a big difference or a big scoreline.

“As the manager has touched on, we just need to concentrate on ourselves and get back to what we were doing, not in the last twenty minutes of the Kilmarnock game but in the four previous games and the first hour of the Kilmarnock game. Hit that form and build up a bit of momentum like we did before.

“Everyone is picking up results and when you look at the table even though we went four games unbeaten, we have not really moved that much from the bottom of the table. Other teams will probably be thinking the same, they have maybe won a couple on the bounce but maybe only go up one position.

“It is all so tight and I think that is because every team can get a couple of decent results but then have a bad result. On their day everyone can beat each other, that’s what we will be looking to do on Saturday.”

Although at the age of 30 Ryan is now one of the more experienced in the first team squad but he confirmed that no matter what their age, every player is pushing hard to bring success to the team:-

“As a group we are confident, especially in the last wee while, that our form has been much much better. I think everyone collectively has taken responsibility to get through this, even the younger ones. They have played a lot of games this season.

“There are a few that are a wee bit more experienced but to be fair even the younger ones as a group we are pulling each other through.”

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