Dunfermline Athletic

Higgy ready for the Biggy

Friday, 9th Nov 2018

“Teams should not be coming here and picking up three points. If I have anything to do with it, that will not be happening on Saturday.”

One of four Pars players who have previously played for Falkirk, Kallum Higginbotham claims that you don’t need to be told how big games are between Dunfermline and Falkirk. He made his Bairns debut against Dunfermline and he played in all four derbies in 2010-11 but it wasn’t until he found himself in a Pars strip that he found out what it was like to win one of these usually highly charged encounters.

“If you can’t get up for a derby there is something wrong. Every player in the dressing room knows how important it is and we will be going out to get the three points.

“It is a massive game on Saturday and we hope we can carry that form from the previous two games into this weekend and hopefully I can get involved again.”

The 29 year old who joined Dunfermline from Kilmarnock at the start of season 2016-17, considered the derby at The Falkirk Stadium last month to be probably the team’s best performance of the season.

“Albeit I thought Falkirk were very poor, not in terms of quality, just in fight and the bit of grit that you need in a derby. I just didn’t see that from the Falkirk side that day.

“I thought we would then kick on but for me it just shows how hard this league is. Anyone can beat anyone on a Saturday, we know how bad Falkirk’s run has been since the start of the season but a derby is a derby and form goes out the window. There will be two teams fighting tooth and nail.

“Falkirk have brought a lot of boys up from down south and they probably didn’t understand how important this game is - not only to the players but to everyone connected with both clubs.

“For me watching and not involved in that last derby, Falkirk let their fans down massively. They would have got a rude awakening in that game and they will be coming here all guns blazing. I believe that we have enough quality in our team to go out there and win the game, especially at home.

“Teams should not be coming here and picking up three points. If I have anything to do with it, that will not be happening on Saturday.”

Kallum explained that with indifferent home results the players can feel the mood changing in the stadium during matches but he feels that is when it becomes even more important to do the right things. He continued:-

“I can only speak for myself but that is when you have to get braver, get on the ball. If you are giving the ball away and you are getting a bit of stick, don’t go hiding from the next ball.”

Fans reactions have been getting players down, “I am not here to give the fans stick.” Kallum admitted “they pay their money to voice their opinion.

“They can influence the game in a positive way if they stick with the team. They have done that over the last couple of games. You see fans travelling all the way up to Inverness and then in the Alloa game where it was a fight for the first sixty minutes.

“They stick with us even when we know when we go behind it is harder for fans to stick with the team. We have a game plan where we won’t be going behind. It will be just attack from the first minute, that is what the fans want to see.

“Sometimes the quality is not there but as long as you are giving one hundred per cent effort and hard work they will stick behind you. That is what all the players will be doing at the weekend.”

For now Kallum is just happy to be back playing again and promises to always try to get on the ball and trying to make things happen. He feels fit after being out through injury and continued:-

“It has been a frustrating couple of months, the injury needed to be sorted. You can play through it at the start but it is the kind of injury that is always going to get worse and worse until eventually you need to pull out.

“I went in for the operation and since I have been working hard to get back out there. On Saturday when I came on against Alloa it was so good to get back involved. I thought that I had a positive impact when I came on and we managed to get the three points which was a perfect ending.

“As everyone knows it has been a stop start season. The last couple of results have been good, just what we needed and I believe now that we can start to turn the corner.”

While Kallum has watched from the sidelines since the Irn Bru Cup tie at Borehamwood he has witnessed just two wins from the eight games played in the two months that he has been out.

“The longer you go without scoring goals and when the team is not creating chances then people start to do things that they would not normally do. Scoring goals in the last couple of games has helped the team pick up a little bit.

“I think you will see the team creating more chances and then in return the strikers will start scoring goals. None more so than Faissal (El Bakhtaoui). I can see that he is an unbelievable talent but when you are a striker and not scoring goals then you start to doubt yourself, start to put more pressure on yourself. You need to go and play freely. Last time he was here he scored goal after goal and you could see the freedom he was playing with.

“Football is a funny old game and I have been talking to Faiss telling him to relax. Go back to what he knows works. Once he gets that next goal then we can have this conversation again and he will be getting fifteen to twenty goals.”

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