Dunfermline Athletic

Smith ready for when County come to town

Friday, 1st Feb 2019

“That’s my first couple of weeks back and under the new gaffer, and he’s shown that he trusts the young boys and he trusts me.

As a result of on loan spells at Alloa Athletic and Arbroath, Dunfermline Athletic striker Callum Smith hasn’t played a match at East End Park since November 2017. He returned from loan to be included in the starting eleven last Saturday against Morton so he is hopeful that he can feature again against Ross County this weekend.

It is not just Callum though who is pleased to be back home, he believes that the Pars have missed playing at home:-

“That’s been three weeks now, so we’re looking forward to getting back to home and the crowd being behind us.” He is enjoying being back after being loaned out:-

“Obviously, it’s been hard for me because I was injured for most of the time when I was at Arbroath. I had an ankle injury and then I broke my wrist as well. So, that was hard for me when I was out on loan. But it’s good to be back in the squad here and hopefully I can stake my case for a place in the team.

Callum Smith February 2019
Fri, 1st Feb 2019

“I was still here most days when I was out on loan. I missed one day a week but I was still with all the boys and still felt a part of it.”

For a team that has only scored in two of their last eight games, a starting place would be much more certain if Callum turned out to be the answer to goalscoring problems. He commented:-

“That’s what I’m hoping! I’m a striker, I need to score goals and get myself into the team. It’s going to be hard, I’ve not really played with all the boys, and it’s quite a new squad of boys. Hopefully as the weeks go on, I can get more used to it and get myself into the team.

“That’s my first couple of weeks back and under the new gaffer, and he’s shown that he trusts the young boys and he trusts me. I’ve not been playing much, that was my first 90 minutes, but he trusted me to go in and do a job for the team.”

The 19 year old whose striking partners have included Ross County’s Ross Stewart at Alloa and former Par Ryan Wallace at Arbroath is hoping that he can form a partnership with on loan Dundee striker FaissalEl Bakhtaoui. He continued:-

“Faiss is a great player and a good player to play with. His trickery on the ball brings other players into the game and I really enjoyed playing with him last weekend.”

So did Callum feel 0-0 against Morton was a fair result?

“Probably. We never really created many chances. I would say we were on top most of the game and I think if we had got that wee chance we could have taken it.”

Like his manager, Callum was willing to the take the positives from the away draw:-

“The clean sheet was a positive for us. We’ve been struggling with that lately, with errors at the back. The Raith game, for example, it was three errors at the back. So, to get a clean sheet in that game, was definitely a positive for us.

“Even with the size of squad we’ve got, no-one is guaranteed to play. You’ve got to train hard all week and it’s very competitive in training. Everyone knows if you don’t do it in training and don’t do it in games you’re not guaranteed to play.

“The boys have been enjoying training. It’s been good since the new gaffer’s come in, and we’re all really enjoying it.

“I am learning as a striker under Craw, He’s always giving me wee pointers. After the game, he was showing me clips and telling me what I could have done better and what I had done well. I think playing under Stevie the boys will do well.

“Ross County is going to be a hard one for us” conceded Callum “but all the boys believe we can go and win the game; there’s nothing to say we can’t go and win it. We’ve got a good squad, a good group and all the boys believe in themselves.”

Callum could come up against some familiar Pars faces at County including a striking partner he had alongside him when he made his starting debut for Dunfermline in July 2017 at Tynecastle:-

“Yes, there’s Dec and Callum Morris, although I think he’s injured just now. There’s Lewis Spence, who was here as well. So, there’s a few familiar faces and hopefully we know what they’re going to be doing. If it was me I would be more motivated going back to an old club, to prove a point as well.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough one. I’ve not played against them this season, so I don’t really know what to expect. But they’re top of the league, so they must be doing something right and it’s definitely going to be a hard game for us.”

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