Dunfermline Athletic

Efe confident gaffer can lead Pars out of trouble

Tuesday, 8th Feb 2022

“I believe, soon, things will click and everyone who plays against Dunfermline are going to know they are playing a good team who can play, who can pass and can move the ball around.”

After two days training with Dunfermline, the club’s most recent signing Efe Ambrose was very clear what the priority is at his new club and pledged to put all his weight behind the effort:-

“I will go out to do my best for the team and keep them in the league. At the start of the season they were one of the teams expected to be fighting for promotion. They should not be where they find themselves. The most important thing right now is the relegation battle.”

Acknowledging John Hughes expectations of him Efe said:-

“He trusts me and knows my ability, what he wants me to do and bring to the team. For me I just want to enjoy football again.”

Efe played alongside Pars first team coach Steven Whittaker at Hibs and briefly at Livingston alongside Steven Lawless. He had taken on board comments from colleagues before opting to take the on loan move from Perth to Dunfermline:

“I have played against a few of the players here and I had a few conversations with players around. Most of them told me good things about the club and when I read about the club I know that it is a massive club. They are in the Championship and their fan base and everything about the club is good. So there was an opportunity to be there and to keep playing football.”

Having started just six times this season for St Johnstone and been a sub twice Efe has not been involved since the end of October but claimed that without them he would not be at Dunfermline:-

“They have given me the opportunity to go back and play for them as well. You know in football you can never stay put. As it goes, it is not what was planned but that is football and you just have accept it, keep going and never give up.

“I keep fighting. People should know that about me. I always do my best to keep training, keep working hard and wait for my opportunity. It was going to be difficult for me (at St Johnstone) because they have too many centre backs and too many players coming in.”

Saints manager Callum Davidson knows that Efe wants to play and the 33 year old added “we both understand each other so when I spoke to him he knew where I was coming from.

“The commitment he showed me when I was at St Johnstone was good but, with the situation they are in near the bottom of the league, I understand that you need to get out of the relegation battle and fresh, new players can help to play a different way.

“So, personally, I need to focus on this opportunity. I am still on loan so I really hope they can climb the table, the supporters can enjoy the football and they don’t have that pressure.”

His new boss, John Hughes has reported Efe has fitted right in to the Pars training and after the second day’s training said:-

“I am delighted to have him at the club, he comes with a fantastic CV from an SPL club and we are grateful and thankful to St Johnstone and everyone who made it happen. Once again the chairman’s pursuit of trying to bring the player to the club, played a massive part in that. Hopefully Efe goes on to have a great time at Dunfermline.”

The gaffer appreciates Efe’s leadership qualities can be every bit as beneficial as his football qualities. He increases the competition for places, he brings a vast amount of experience and he is a character who harnesses a desire to help people. John said that he could see all that in his first couple of days at Dunfermline adding:-.

“We just need to get him up to speed and he knows that he has competition for places. Even when I was asking him to come along, saying that we need a hand here with a bit of experience since we have a lot of young boys at the club, he buys into that but that is just his character - he is a loveable guy.

“It was nice to see him there on Saturday, albeit on the bench and mixing with the boys. He knows a lot of the boys and he is basically telling them that he is here to help them, stick together. So you can start seeing his influence in the dressing room already.”

The manager has never before signed Efe as a player but has always enjoyed banter with the big Nigerian and cracking his big friendly smile:-

“He always seems to enjoy it. If he hits the ground for us and plays the part that we are hoping he can play I think he might become a fans’ favourite here. It is all down to Efe and I’m looking forward to him getting started.”

Getting started is not something that is a problem for Efe Ambrose as he claimed that playing football was on his mind all of his waken hours:-

“Football is my life, football is my passion. Every day that I wake up all I think about is to go out there to enjoy playing football. When you don’t play what you love the most, it hurts.

“Right now I just want to see any way that I can help the team even if it’s from the bench. My onus is to encourage and give the lads the best advice that I can give them on and off the pitch. Football is not just played on the park, outside the pitch you can still help the team out. Any support or advice these young lads need I will always be there for them.”

Pointing out that while football is a team sport where you need eleven on the park and a full complement on the bench, the most important thing is how they do it collectively. That he claimed is where the manager’s experience of a relegation battle at Ross County comes into play:-

“He kept them in the league so he has that experience and he has brought me in knowing what I can do to improve the team. Bringing in this manager and the types of players that he has brought in will lift the club from where it is right now.

“You need to fight on that pitch and do your talking on the pitch. We need to understand what the manager wants. The mentality has changed and what he has brought to the team is very great.

“What he is bringing to the team is massive and the players are understanding how he wants to play. You can see the results are coming. I believe, soon, things will click and everyone who plays against Dunfermline are going to know they are playing a good team who can play, who can pass and can move the ball around.”

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