Dunfermline Athletic

McCann at the Double

Sunday, 21st Nov 2021

“You have to put in the grit and after that it opens up and we can show our quality

Dunfermline Athletic’s 20 year old striker Lewis McCann has waited a long time for his first senior goal. More than half of his 47 Dunfermline appearances have been as a substitute and a fair proportion of these have been for very few minutes.

Injury kept him out of the team. His first team minutes totalled six from games in Dumfries and Arbroath before he was handed a start at Inverness two games back. He was unlucky at the Caledonian Stadium when Danny Devine directed a Kevin O’Hara cross into his own net before Lewis had the chance of a certain goal. On Saturday he started again and this time he scored not just his first but his second goal as well. Talking to the website Lewis recalled his first goal when number 14 scored in the 14th minute:-

“I’m way too excited, it has been a long time coming to be fair. I have just watched it back there and I have headed it straight into the ground and gone into the top of the net. It is a carbon copy of one I did in training yesterday. Just the scenes after that was just way too excited.”

Certain sources wrongly named Lewis as the scorer in Inverness but Lewis confirmed what was reported here last week:-

“The one against Inverness was definitely not mine. Hopefully there are more to come though.” After such a wait for his first goal the second goal came in just the ninth minute of the second half. He continued:-

“Just seeing the ball going in, it is such a relief to score and it lifts such a weight off my shoulders. Hopefully I can play with a bit more confidence now, with a bit more freedom as well.”

Lewis was disappointed to come off when on a hattrick but admitted he had given his all when subbed with ten minutes to go:-

“I had stood still for about ten minutes in the game while they were just keeping the ball. I just felt cramped up so thought maybe not. The gaffer had said if anyone was feeling anything not to be silly, just tell us and you will come off.

“When you see the quality on the bench, the boys come on in your place it is not going to make a difference.”

The first league win of the season at East End Park was celebrated by the fans, the new manager John Hughes and the team. Lewis was as pleased with the performance as with the win:-

“It was really good, especially in the second half we took more control and we barely gave the ball away. We have set a standard for ourselves now, it is just about improving it and moving on to get more wins.

“The boys are buzzing but we won’t get carried away. Hopefully we will enjoy this week and get back to work for Friday.”

Ayr United made sure that there was no way Dunfermline could be termed ‘soft’ on Saturday and Lewis discovered that his opponent Markus Fjørtoft had taken his marking task to its limits as a couple of scars from the game were revealed.

“I have an absolute belter of a scratch. He was getting a bit friendly with me wasn’t he? You have to put in the grit and after that it opens up and we can show our quality. Dorsa, Dowser, Dom, Paul (Allan) when he came on, Matty Todd, I thought that we controlled the second half completely and barely gave the ball away.

“I will take two goals for a couple scratches. I don’t know when it happened. When I went in and took my top off and saw them and a few more as well.”

The two goals from McCann and another in between from Ryan Dow lifted the Pars off the foot of the table. Lewis described that as a great relief but was very aware of the fourteen points between sixth and fifth adding “we need to chip away at that.”

Lewis was just sixteen when he signed from Fife Elite in May 2018 but while at East End Park he has worked under managers - Allan Johnston, Stevie Crawford and Peter Grant- and now John Hughes but he cannot pinpoint what has changed:-

“I don’t know. I have not noticed much change but the results are coming in. I have told you before - I don’t think the boys have been hating each other or any members of the staff when Peter Grant was in charge.

“I feel that we have solidified more and controlling games more like in the second half of the game at Inverness and then against Ayr. We are more of a team now.”

It was Greg Shields and Steven Whittaker that gave Lewis his first start of this season at Inverness and he appreciates the good words that the two coaches have for him. Credit too for fighting for a striker’s role when Todorov, O’Hara and Wighton are providing good competition for places:-

“It is just about repaying their trust. I thought I did that today and just need to continue doing that. It was a good confidence boost to start me and put trust in me to play upfront by myself. It is more about him trusting the players around me. They controlled the game and I just did my bit. I thought that it was a great performance all round.”

Lewis also talked to ParsTV

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