Dunfermline Athletic

Thomas has top flight target

Thursday, 13th May 2021

“We have now another year’s experience under our belt. For next season we just have to build again and go for it.”

Dunfermline midfielder Dom Thomas feels that the Pars target next season has to be promotion. As he headed off for some time off before returning for pre season he claimed that there has to be a real push for success and that can come on the foundation of the shortened 2020-2021 season and the hurt of losing out in the play offs.

The Glasgow born 25 year old says that it is something that the squad has spoken about already, they have to finish higher and try and go for the league.

“We are obviously gutted but we have to use the disappointment to spur us on next season. For me personally, the majority of the boys and the staff we want to go and win the league. If we just fall short of that it might put us in second which is a step closer in the play offs.

“We will have our time off now, dust ourselves down. Boys will return to their loan clubs and move on but for us coming back in next season, we need to hit the ground running like we did this season but go further.

“We have good players signed up - the majority of the team - and we can use this season as experience after getting to the play offs. I don’t think many boys had played in the play offs. We have a young squad with a bit of experience, hopefully we can recruit well again like we did this season to build a new team and go again.”

There will be no big fish like Hearts in the Championship next season but with Hamilton Accies looking doomed (barring a nine goal win over Kilmarnock) they would be hoping to bounce straight back up to the Premiership and the competition will be tough no matter whoever fails to come out on top of the Premiership play offs. Dom who signed a two year deal in July 2020 when joining from Kilmarnock reckons that the Championship is harder than the top flight:-

“Every game is hard, you go to places that are horrible to go to and every team fancies themselves. You have seen from some of the results this season that anybody can beat anybody. You don’t take any game for granted but we have now another year’s experience under our belt. For next season we just have to build again and go for it.”

This season ended abruptly on Saturday with defeat to Raith Rovers in the Premiership Quarter Final play off and Dom commented:-

“It is a hard one to take, it ends your season earlier than you wanted so it is never good. I felt over the two legs we did really well, especially the first leg. In the first 45 we had enough chances to win the tie. But that is football, sometimes you don’t get the breaks and sometimes you do. That is what happened on the play offs.

“The boys gave everything over the two legs as they have done all season. It has been a long hard and different season but credit to the boys they went all the way. We had good times, we had hard times and we stuck together. I think that is what got us to the play offs in the end but we just couldn’t get over that last hurdle.”

Not taking a lead from the first leg ultimately cost Dunfermline. To turn it around against Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park was possibly too much to hope for a side that had not won away from home since the end of November. Dom pointed out:-

“At the end of the day, goals change games and change ties. We didn’t manage to take our chances, sometimes you need that break of luck that we didn’t get. I felt that we played really well in the first leg and for the majority of the second leg as well. We didn’t get the goals but the boys worked hard as they have done all season. It is hard to take but we will use this as motivation for next season and aim even higher.

“At the start of the season we set our goals to be in the play offs and we hit those goals although there were a few bumps along the way. We started flying, hit a bit of a bad spell, sorted it out and got ourselves in the play offs.”

Dom started 27 of Dunfermline’s 36 matches and also made three appearances off the bench, he reflected:-

“Personally I have loved every minute of this season and I felt that I became a better player playing every week and being a big part of the team. That is thanks to the coaches and the players in the team. It is not just me, we want to go further next year. That is not just me that’s the coaches, the staff and everybody at the club.”

Dom has been on fire in recent games and provided a considerable number of assists for Euan Murray to score goals in the early part of the season. His attacking style has always made him a fan’s favourite wherever he has played but he laments the encouragement that has been missing due to the matches this season having to be played behind closed doors.

“When I had my first spell at Dunfermline the fans were a massive part of it. You can see the numbers that they come out in when you are doing well and I am sure that they would have been out backing us this year. It maybe gives you that wee bit extra or gets you that decision that you don’t get.

“It is weird not playing in front of fans, you actually get used to it for the wrong reasons but hopefully by next season we can get the fans back in numbers and give them something to come out and watch and entertain them.”

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