Dunfermline Athletic

Battling the Blues

Wednesday, 12th Apr 2023

Nikolay eyes records as campaign sets up for a finale of the historic kind

Dunfermline striker Nikolay Todorov is always modest when he speaks after matches. He scored the important first goal on Tuesday night at Peterhead but his first words were:-

“I’m just delighted we managed to pick up another three points“ and he continued “it’s a tough to place to come, especially on a Tuesday night when the conditions were horrible - windy and the pitch - but we not giving any excuses, as we haven’t the whole season.”

The battle

The big Bulgarian forward accepted a defence splitting pass from Joe Chalmers to open the scoring in 57 minutes but he was always confident after an out of sorts first half that the team would come good in the second half:-

"It was quite a tough start, for the first half, but we were against the wind and we battled through.” The team were a little unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty, if not two, in the first 45, but the 26 year old was philosophical:-

"I can`t really judge on the referees. I was there, I thought it was a penalty. At the end of the day, it`s the referee`s decision. There is a corner or the ball might come to you and you can score. So you don`t really have time to think about it, you just need to react. We knew what was coming the second half, so we just regrouped at half-time and we went and did a professional job.”

The goal

Nikolay’s eleventh goal of the season sent the travelling support wild with delight and the big man celebrated before being subbed by Craig Wighton before the restart. His goal came from an Aaron Comrie throw in from the right that Joe Chalmers controlled in the centre circle and threaded through for the goal. Nikolay recalled:-

"I think I took a first touch and then another one before I finished, but I managed to do it quickly. I didn`t give the goalie a chance to set his feet. I tried to hit it as quickly as I could, he couldn`t set himself. I`m just happy to contribute. The first goal I thought was really important, it set us up and then we went on and killed the game with the second."

The immediate substitution did not deflate Nikolay who stressed:-

“I`m fully focused, I went out there and I gave it my all. It`s a tough place to come with the conditions, they`ve made it a horrible game. I love a battle myself, so it is not a problem. Whatever the manager decides, we are one team."

The travelling support

Nikolay paid tribute to the large number of fans who made the 296 mile round trip on a Tuesday night.

“The fans were incredible, I`ve played here a few times with different teams and I`ve never seen so many people coming up. It`s a long journey we did ourselves. The day was nice, but the weather at the game wasn`t nice, so fair play to them.

“The whole season the fans have been brilliant - with me personally and backing up the team. It`s been incredible to see them turn up for this game. Hopefully they turn up in numbers for Saturday`s game."

Preparing for Saturday

Recovery is all part of the preparations claimed Nikolay:-

"You travel a lot - you can travel down to Dumfries, you can go up to Peterhead, sometimes you go to Ross County and Inverness. You get used to it. We`re not going to do anything different than we`ve done this season. Earlier in the season we went to Peterhead and managed to pick up a positive result. We`ll not change, we`ll recover, we`ll focus on the game on Saturday and see what we need to do for the game on Saturday."

One win away

Dunfermline are just one win away from securing promotion out of League One but Nikolay viewed Saturday as just another three points.

"We don`t get ahead of ourselves, we`ve been like that the whole season. We just want to focus game by game. Now we will rest, we will recover. On Thursday and Friday we will prepare for Saturday`s game. Hopefully we can give the fans another win and see where that takes us. We`re not getting ahead of ourselves."

Even though the atmosphere on Saturday is likely to be supercharged by fans anticipating something big to celebrate, Nikolay doesn’t want it all to conclude on Saturday. He has an eye on making the season as successful as possible seeking not just one but four wins which would mean exceeding the Pars record points in a season currently 79 set in season 2015-2016.

"We are now 20 (league) games unbeaten, we want to continue that. We want to continue making history with this club and with this team because the boys and the staff and everyone involved have been brilliant. We not looking at it as `we need three more points`, we want to finish the season on a high. We`ve got four more games left and we want to take maximum points out of it but we need to focus game by game."

Whatever, a win over Queen of the South this Saturday would make it a historic day.

Watch Nikolay Todorov’s interview with Jordan Burt for PARStv

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