Dunfermline Athletic

Ryan rocking to the sound of silence

Monday, 19th Oct 2020

Ryan Dow:- “Everyone wants fans back. It would have been brilliant to have had them, we need to hope that it will be soon.”

Ryan Dow scored in the opening match of last season’s Championship and promptly teased the away support as he celebrated the 13th minute opener against Dundee. What a difference Covid-19 has made though. On Saturday Ryan celebrated his opening goal of this league season in front of an empty stadium. “Last season East End Park would probably have been rocking” claimed the Pars Vice Captain when he scored the goal to put Dunfermline ahead for the first time in the game against Inverness Caley Thistle. He compared the feelings:-

“Especially in the first game of the season when it would have been a really big crowd. It is not nice, it feels a bit like a bounce game and you need to create your own atmosphere. It didn’t feel like a bounce game though because both teams were at it. It is just strange but just one of those things that has never happened before.”

The consequences he speculated may mean the loss of home advantage for sides while fans are barred from attending:-

“Teams will come and maybe not sit in as much or if we get the goal to go ahead the fans are on your side and we can push back teams. It could be the same when we go away to others teams, if we go a goal down then the fans are right on top. It evens itself out but everyone wants fans back. It would have been brilliant to have had them, we need to hope that it will be soon.”

Opponents the runners up in last season’s Championship, Caley Thistle, were always going to be a test and a bit of a gauge for Stevie Crawford’s new team. But Ryan felt that Dunfermline showed a lot of character to recover from going a goal behind inside 90 seconds of kick off.

“They are a good team, to go 1-0 down so early on was tough. To get the three goals was different class and it is always good to get that first win in the league. We didn’t do it last year and it took a wee while to get it. It takes the pressure off.”

Euan Murray headed in the 23rd minute leveller and Ryan scored the goal to put his side ahead for the first time 12 minutes from the end. Declan McManus safeguarded the victory with a strike six minutes later. Ryan was delighted that rehearsed setpieces are paying off:-

“We got the goal again through Muzza and Dom, they have been brilliant at setpieces it is stuff that we have been working on. We weren’t playing our best at the start but we showed a bit of grit and determination to get our way back into the game. We were much better in the second half when we got to grips with their formation.

“We created a lot of chances, they had a lot of corners but I don’t think big Fônners had that many saves to make.”

Last season it was six matches into the league programme before the Pars took three points from a match and with this league campaign reduced to 27 matches, Ryan felt that it was particularly important to get off to a good start:-

“It is always massive every year to get that first win and get the monkey off your back but especially this season when the first round of fixtures have been cut out. To get off to a flyer and continue that in the next couple of games is massive.”

Stevie Crawford told the media post match that he felt that his current squad is the best that he has had to work with in his career as a manager. Ryan agreed that there were signs of something special brewing this season:-

“We have signed a lot of good players, we had a good team last year but I think we got a wee bit inconsistent at times. We have lost a few good players and obviously the main one in Nizzy but we have brought a lot of good ones in and we have different options that we maybe didn’t have as much last season.

“It is exciting times and hopefully the fans will be thinking that as well. We are an exciting team to watch and going forward. We are creating a lot of chances every game and we have managed to take three on Saturday to win the game.”

Kevin Nisbet was a prolific goalscorer for Dunfermline last season, greatly assisted by the supply of chances from Ryan but now others know that they will need to find the net. Ryan scored six goals in 28 appearances last season, he is off the mark already and he is pleased to see goals coming from numerous sources:-

“To get off and running was good, the same for Dec as well. He played really well and Muzza is flying as well with four goals now. We will just need to try and catch him.

“We need to take responsibility as attacking players. Fraser Murray chipped in with two in midweek, Dom, Kevin and Dec were off the mark as well but we are more of a threat this season at setpieces.

“We have been working on them in training and when Muzza and Paul Watson going up we are a threat. That is a big thing because if you re not playing your best in certain gams to be able to score from setpieces is massive.”

Ryan jokingly speculated that Euan Murray might be trying to emulate Kevin Nisbet’s tally from last season but added:-

“I don’t care who scores but it will be good if he can keep that going. We knew last year that he was a threat in the box but he got that really bad freak injury in his neck and was out for a long time.

“When he came back he scored a goal against Partick Thistle . He is brilliant in the air, mainly defensively but if him and Paul Watson can chip in with a few in an attacking sense I massive. It is good if we all chip in but as long as we are winning games I don’t care who is scoring the goals.”

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