Dunfermline Athletic

Pars role fits for Whitts

Monday, 23rd Nov 2020

Steven Whittaker:- “We have got together a good squad, we have good attitudes and want to do it together. That puts us on a good playing field straight away and we have got quality in the dressing room as well

Regardless of who are the opposition Steven Whittaker is adamant that three points is all that is important. Nevertheless the game against Hearts was a big one for Dunfermline on the back of their best ever start to a season. The 36 year old who signed from Hibs in June knew that Friday’s was a crucial match against the title favourites:-

“Hearts on the telly on a Friday night, it was one that needed no motivation. The boys to a man were excellent on the night and managed to get the victory which is what we set out to do.”

The 2-1 win sent the Pars to the top of the league and that did not surprise the former Scotland internationalist:-

“We have got together a good squad, we have good attitudes and want to do it together. That puts us on a good playing field straight away and we have got quality in the dressing room as well. We worked hard and we obviously stuck to our game plan and shape.

“Hearts changed a couple of times throughout the game but we adapted well and we were always a threat on the counter. When we went one and then two up Hearts got more expansive and threw more people up front. It is hard not to get deep at that stage of the game but we still looked a threat on the break with Deccy and Kyle.”

Kerr McInroy played alongside Steven in the Dunfermline midfield and his performance in a significant role earned many plaudits. Kerr has played the full ninety minutes in five of the seven Pars matches for which he has been available this season and Steven appreciated the contribution made by the on loan Celtic player:-

“Kerr was fantastic. We have known about Kerr for a while and I am glad that he is getting the platform to show his abilities. He provides a nice balance in there, a left footer and me playing right side being right footed. We expect that from him, he is a good player and he will continue to get his chance here.”

At 2-0 up Steven had to be alert when called upon to deploy his defensive qualities. In 70th minute finding himself as the last man when Steven Naismith broke on goal from just inside the Pars half, Whitts was the saviour preventing a shot and allowing his full back to sweep away the danger:-

“It was a bit of our own doing. Josh (Edwards) had tried to clear it and it hit their other striker and went straight into Naismith’s path. I just tried to pick my legs up and get there as quick as I could. Josh was on the recovery as well and managed to get a vital touch in there.

“It was our night but I’m sure that Hearts will have their time as well. I think people will probably look at it and take note of it. I don’t think that we can get carried away, we are still in the first third of the season.

“We have dug in at times in games when we have not been playing well and kept in games to show our quality and our other side to get the goals required to take the points.

“We will continue to work on the training field, try and get better and just stick together out there and hopefully the results and the points will keep coming.

“Everyone fancies Hearts for the league and so it is nice to get one over them. It is still early days but we believed from the start that we had a good group and the quality. There is definitely a belief in the club and in the dressing room at the minute. We will continue to work hard and try and achieve good things.

“The momentum is good. Right from the Betfred Cup games, we came through them with four wins and carried that into the league. We drew at Ayr and won every other game, we will just be trying to keep that going. Morale is good and long may that continue.”

So as a player/coach could Steven take credit on two fronts? He replied:-

“I am enjoying the role. The gaffer has been great, the coaching staff Jason and Greg have got me right involved in decisions in training and daily schedules. I am enjoying that, just training with the boys and passing on my knowledge of the game that has been created over the last twenty years. It is going well just now and hopefully that will continue.”

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