Sons could be in search of scalpsSaturday, 26th Aug 2017
Dean Shiels - "They’ll look at our results so far and think it will be a scalp to beat us.
Dean Shiels has warned that the win over Falkirk last Saturday will put a marker down and teams will now be wary of Dunfermline Athletic. The 32 year old who made just short of 100 appearances for Rangers, was signed by Allan Johnston in July this year said:-
"I think they’ll be aware of the start we’ve made. But that’s all it is - a good start, and it means nothing if you don’t build on it and follow through with the results as the season goes on."
The result in the derby match against Falkirk was important for the fans but since it was against last season`s runners up in the Championship, also a good gauge of where the team is:-
“It’s about winning in derby games. That’s what matters to the fans and to the players, and it kicks us on into the next game.
“That was a good game for us. The lads who had been here made the rest of us know how important it is to win and how bad a record we had against Falkirk last season. It was important to set that right early in the season."
The team is starting games well, especially at home, when they really have come out of the blocks razor sharp. Dean felt that could be used to excellent advantage at home:-
"It should stand us in good stead for the season. It was good, I enjoyed it and of course it helps when you win. Derby games are only remembered for winning. It’s not about playing well and picking up draws, or playing well and losing."
The three points secured second place in the league after the first three fixtures and the Pars continue to trail Dundee United by two points. Dean stressed that it was too early yet to be studying the league table:-
"We’re just concentrating on picking up points. We know how hard it will be away from home at times and we’ve got to make sure we’re strong at home and pick up as many points as we can on the road."
The midfielder who comes from Magherafelt in Northern Ireland has experience of taking the road to Dumbarton.
“I’ve been there a lot with Rangers and it’s tough. Sometimes there’s no atmosphere and you have to be nice and bright and loud. We know it’s going to be a difficult game, it always is there, but I think we’re confident at the minute and we can go there and win."
Dunfermline are trying to get a run going and they want to carry that on in the Dumbarton game confirmed Dean:-
“It’s about momentum and when you get into a run of picking up wins then you go into every game with belief and confidence you can win. Hopefully we can take that into Saturday and keep that going."
Dumbarton are expected to be strong at home. The last time on Easter Saturday, Dunfermline ended an unbeaten home run that had extended for ten weeks. Dean predicted:-
“They’ll be hard to beat and they’ll try to play the game the way they do. I know they’ll be fired up for it. They’ll look at our results so far and think it will be a scalp to beat us. We’ve got to be mentally strong to go there and get a result."
The player who has 14 international caps for Northern Ireland feels that the move to the Championship has worked out well for him:-
“Things are going well. I had an injury when I first arrived, which was a bit annoying, and I missed the Hearts game. But, apart from that, it’s been good, I’ve just been getting up to speed and getting fit again. I came on in the Rangers game and then after that I kicked on."
The good start to the league season is in stark contrast to the Pars last season`s so everyone is feeling good. Dean continued:-
“I’m enjoying playing. It’s a good group and there’s good chemistry in the group. We’ve got goals in the team and I’m enjoying being a part of it.
“I just want to stay fit and keep playing, and try to enjoy my football. I just want to enjoy it because sometimes you have seasons where you don’t enjoy football but I’m starting to enjoy it again, so hopefully that continues."
Having tasted life at a Hibs, Kilmarnock and Rangers Dean is adamant that Dunfermline should be a Premiership club:-
"The way things are run here, they want to do things right, everything’s done professionally, and you can see there’s ambition here to go further and progress.
“That can only help. You need everyone pulling in the same direction and it can only help if we’ve all got the same goals and the same ambitions to do well."