Dunfermline Athletic

New Gaffer right up Thomas Street

Monday, 15th Nov 2021

“We have that bit between our teeth, we have got the fire in our belly and we can defend, we can play

Dom Thomas’ third goal in the last six league games was particularly pleasing since this one turned out to be a match winner. The Pars first win in fourteen Championship matches was one that the 25 year old enjoyed sharing with his teammates and fans:-

“It was brilliant, that is what you play football for. I am just happy to help out the team whether it be goals or assists. I would be happy with anybody scoring that goal but I know what it means to the club and the fans especially on an away day like Inverness. It is one of my favourites myself so I know the fans would have been in party mood on the way home.

“I am just happy to chip in with anything, I would have been happy for anybody to score it. I just try and do my best for the team, help the boys out and I was delighted it came on to my right foot. It is something that I don’t usually do but when I hit it I just knew it was in.”

The only snag with Dom’s 64th minute goal was negotiating the next 26 minutes and then the seven stress filled minutes added at the end. Inverness pushed hard for the equaliser with their keeper Mark Ridgers twice going up for corners in the dying minutes.

“It always seems that we score too early and we were hanging on for dear life but we showed another side to the game that I think we have showed defending well. Crosses and setpieces have maybe been our downfall but we showed it there when they put their goalie up. It never phased us, we defended well. That is a side that we are good at, we have maybe been not so good at it recently but we are back to basics and that is what it is.

“In football you can go on a bad run where you need to roll the sleeves up and get ready for the fight. That is what I saw on Saturday and it is the thing that I’m most proud of - the boys showed that we have that bit between our teeth, we have got the fire in our belly and we can defend, we can play - it just shows.

“I think that we had shown that in previous weeks without getting the results. Inverness are obviously a good team this year and they are doing well in the league. It was good to go up there and get the result.”

It could be claimed that the new manager effect was a big influence on the positive outcome and Dom felt that John Hughes’ suggestion in his comments on being appointed, created a reaction from the players:-

“It is something that I take personally. You know what Scottish football is like it is a small bowl and everybody talks to everybody and that was the word on the street that we were soft, we could play nice stuff but we were getting bullied. It is nothing I have ever come across in football, so I knew that I had to stand up and be counted.

“I think everybody did that, from the boys that started to the boys that came on. It showed coming up to one of the hardest places probably in Scottish football and we put a fight in. Getting the result is great but we showed that fight and determination and laid down a marker for the rest of the teams.”

While he was delighted with the result, Dom was equally pleased with the appointment of John Hughes:-

“Obviously, meeting him on Friday he is no shrinking violet, he is right up my street. He has been great with the boys even though he has just come in. Lifting spirits can be hard when you have been on a bad run.

“He told us what he expected of us and I think everybody knows what John Hughes is all about. He doesn’t mess about and if you work hard for him he will work hard for you. That is the way it just has to be. We have to roll our sleeves up and again, fight every week and results will take care of themselves.”

Dom spoke quite a bit with Hughes on Friday and he is looking forward to playing for someone who allows his players to express themselves on the park:

“He knows he wants his creative players to go and create but do the other side as well. Work hard but that’s what any footballer expects especially a creative player. He knows that we will make mistakes and we will maybe not get that cross in, that goal or whatever it may be just as long as we react.

“That is what he has told us so he has set down his marker, it is something that we have to do. We have got to do it for ourselves, for the club, for the fans and it is something that the boys will do.”

The three points collected at Inverness have swiftly placed a different perspective on the league position. Yes, Dunfermline remain bottom on ten points but they are only two points behind Morton and Queen of the South and three behind Ayr United and Hamilton.

Conveniently the next fixtures pair those teams against teams in the top five and Dunfermline are at home against Ayr. It might take a few ifs to come off but another Pars win this week could take them up to sixth. Dom would only comment:-

“When you look at the table and you see that gap after losing games that we thought we should have won - That’s just football but again we have the chance to do it every Saturday and we took that chance at Inverness. As a football player you do look at the table but for us, we just have to move straight on to next week, prepare, be ready and get three points again. We want to climb the table and be able to look back on it in a few months and see it as just a bad run of fortune.”

Ayr United are the opponents for the eighth home league match of the season and it would be nice to follow the first away win since October 2020, with a first home league win since April. Dom closed:-

“Our record is not good enough but you get a chance every Saturday to go and put it right, we have done it on Saturday. We need to look to next Saturday and another three points. There is no point in winning up in Inverness if you don’t win at home. The boys know that and they know that we are far off from where we want to be and need to be. Next week is another chance to right the wrongs.”

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