Dunfermline Athletic

Dumfries opportunity to dismiss disappointment of Derby defeat

Friday, 13th Oct 2017

Kallum Higginbotham knows that defeat in the Irn Bru Cup was a disappointing result and that they want to put that right this weekend.

"Falkirk are classed as our main rivals so to lose a Derby game, no matter what squad was out there, we still wanted to win the game. With the depth in the squad we were strong enough to go and win the game but on the day, we just didn`t turn up."

Although stressing that the team goes out to win ever game, Kallum did now feel that to be knocked out of the Irn Bru Cup was one less thing to worry about as the attention could be centred on league business.

"If you are in it you are in it to win, but it is not the same if you get knocked out of the League Cup or the Scottish Cup. We can have fresher legs going into league games rather than playing weekends in the Challenge Cup and having to reschedule league games.

"It is not a big disappointment being knocked out but it is still a big let down."

The international call ups took away four of the Dunfermline squad that had faced Dundee United and although Calum Smith was recalled from the Scotland U19s, the fact that the match against Falkirk went ahead is testimony to the strength of the Pars squad. Kallum continued:-

"That shows that boys can get that call up if they are doing well. It was a chance for the boys who came in to shine but we just didn`t play well at all last week. Not just the boys that came in but everyone in general.

"The boys who have been playing week in week out didn`t perform last week. We didn`t perform against Dundee United and the manager has let us know that and we have been working hard this week to get back on track."

The 28 year old who joined Dunfermline from Kilmarnock in July 2016 admires the international recognition given to his team mates especially the one with whom he has formed a great partnership down the Dunfermline right:-

"Ryan Williamson can be whatever he wants to be. He is a great guy and won`t let the call up get to his head and get carried away."

Kallum` own experiences in England were a learning curve for him. After a successful period at Falkirk, he joined Huddersfield Town in January 2012 and in the space of 12 months made only 15 starts there and while loaned out to both Barnsley and Carlisle. He added:-

"Callum Smith has come into the first team and shown what he is about. I have made mistakes along my career and I don`t want him to make the same mistakes. At seventeen years of age he is playing full grown men`s football and doesn`t look out of place when he is on the pitch on a Saturday. If he keeps his head down and works hard every day in training, not just the days he fancies working hard, then I believe that he can go to the top.

"I thought that I could just go down to England and go straight on the team. I needed to go down there and realise that I have gone to a big club, needed to bide my time and work hard. I am the sort of player who wants to play week on week out. If I wasn`t playing I was chapping on the gaffer`s door a week later. I ended up going out on loan - it is just things like that I try to pass on.

"If they do get a move, do not be expecting to go and play when you go to a massive club. If you want to be playing football, I believe that you should stay there playing week in week out."

Saturday`s fixture at Palmerston Park will be played on an artificial pitch and that is not Kallum`s surface of choice:-

"I am not the biggest advocate of the plastic pitches but it is the same for both teams. We train on it every day at Kelty and we are used to it. I know Saturday`s result doesn`t reflect that, we never seem to play well at Falkirk.

"Queen of the South is always a hard place to go. They are doing well this year and have a great group of players. We will be going there confident and we need to get back on track. If we win on Saturday it will be a great return of points for the first quarter of fixtures and put us in good stead."

"We want to be at the top of the table, look after ourselves and see what other results are. If we are going to be contenders for the league we need to go to places like Queen of the South and win.

"A win on Saturday would put an even bigger gap between ourselves and that fifth place but we just have to take it game by game."

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