Dunfermline Athletic

Josh fancies Rugby Park chances

Friday, 11th Feb 2022

“We have had a couple of close games with them and I fancy us to go there and do a job on them.”

For a multitude of reasons Josh Edwards has confidence going into Saturday’s match away to second placed Kilmarnock - the Fifers extended their unbeaten run at Ayr last weekend, the team is showing maturity, the ability to ride out tricky periods with a real belief in themselves, a desire not to concede a goal and a real understanding of how manager John Hughes wants them to play.

On a cold, damp day at Somerset Park last Saturday and with a swirling wind, only taking a point was something not to be too annoyed about claimed Josh:-

“Obviously taking the lead you want to hang on to it. Our performance after they scored was better, holding on for little spells towards the end of the first half. At the start of the season we might have conceded a soft goal but there was a determination to not to lose a goal that was clear to see. We held on and went again in the second half but in the end a point was probably a fair reflection of the game.”

Josh who has been named in all 32 Dunfermline line ups this season felt that a four point haul from the last two matches was a result in itself:-

“We had two huge away games against teams around us - Queen of the South and Ayr. Obviously we went into both games looking to win but four points from six against two teams around us away from home at this time of year, you would probably have taken it going into the games.

“We were looking to win both of them and we had chances at Ayr to take all three points. In the situation that we are four out of six is not terrible.”

The Pars unbeaten run is now four games and Josh believes that they are not the soft team that John Hughes labelled them on his appointment. Now their objective is to meet the manager’s desire not to see them beaten again this season:-

“We were losing a few games at the start of the season but now we believe in ourselves that we should be higher up the league. We are not, we are in a relegation fight at the minute and we are looking to make sure that we stay well clear of that. An unbeaten run would help us succeed that. I’m sure come the end of the season we will be fine and made sure that we are safe in the league.”

The changes made by Hughes and the plans played out on the training ground now seems be making the difference and Josh explained:-

“The manager has a certain way he wants us playing. He talks about it every day on the training pitch. We know what he wants from us and we all go out and do that for him at the weekends. You can see in the last few weeks that it is starting to come together. We are starting to pick up results, we are playing much better.

“Queens away in the first half was probably the best football that we have played for a very long time. What we are doing on the training pitch is obviously coming to fruition on a Saturday.”

No Dunfermline player has played more minutes this season than Josh and he is enjoying the way that the team is playing:-

“Being a footballer you always want to be on the ball as much as possible. Receiving the ball more times than not during the game is a lot better. He wants me playing a lot higher and wants me and Aaron to go go go. So it has been different but I am enjoying it. I like getting forward and putting crosses into the box. It has been good for me.”

The 21 year old left back welcomes the likes of Steven Lawless, Joe Chalmers and Efe Ambrose joining the squad with the experience that they bring to the team:-

“They are players who have been about the Scottish game for absolutely years. With them coming in, they know what it takes to win a football match. With them helping out in training driving everybody on, it is hard not to want to do everything you can to show them that you can go on and do what they have done in the game.”

Graham Dorrans was signed after the first round Premier Sports Cup matches to add experience to what was a fairly young squad but with things changing and more experienced players coming in, Josh now feels that those more experienced heads have set higher standards in training:-

“Boys are on you a bit more, making sure that everything is done to the standard that they want to see it done at. It has been good with experienced boys coming in and enjoyable.”

Josh himself has gained a great amount of experience over the last two seasons, missing out on only two of Dunfermline Athletic’s matches over the period. The 21 year old hopes to put that to good use against his hometown team on Saturday and takes confidence from the 150 minutes of football against the pre season title favourites already this season:-

“Kilmarnock have an extremely good squad and Derek McInnes, a manager who has managed at the top of the Premiership for years with Aberdeen, he will know what he wants from them and it will be a tough game.

“They have added a fair few players but it is not exactly much different from the last time we played them in the fog game where I would say that we were definitely the better team in the first half and in the second half before the fog hampered our visibility. We started coming back into the game and had a few chances in the second half.

“For the five to ten minutes before the fog arrived we started taking over and looked like the team that was going to go on and win the game.

“We probably should have won the game against them here at East End Park as well. So we have had a couple of close games with them and I fancy us to go there and do a job on them.”

Josh Edwards also spoke to ParsTV

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