Dunfermline Athletic

Kevin targets Edinburgh return

Friday, 6th Jan 2023

KO’: - “They probably are our biggest rivals right now, but we`ve just got to focus on ourselves and take care of ourselves.

After four months out injured, Pars striker Kevin O’Hara is keen to make his comeback in the top of the table match against FC Edinburgh on Saturday. The capital side who were promoted through the play offs last season have been the surprise package of League One this season but their success is not a surprise to Kevin. He has had the benefit of many coaches in his career. These include Peter Houston, Paul Hartley, Brown Ferguson, Gary Naysmith, Stevie Crawford, Peter Grant, John Hughes and James McPake but it is this Saturday’s opponent’s manager, Alan Maybury who had an early place in his development.

“I know the manager well, he was my youth team coach. I think he`s a right good manager and he will have them set up on Saturday to have a game plan to beat us.

“I had him at Falkirk when I was coming through, he was really good for me and he set really high standards. I`d imagine it`ll be the same at Edinburgh. That would have been in the reserves, he was the manager there under Peter Houston.”

Above: Kevin in his last match v Queen of the South

Kevin has had difficult at times to go through in the last four months recovering from the first major injury that he has really experienced. It was tough doing the rehab but he assures us that he is now fit and ready to get back playing:-

“The knee is feeling good and the legs are feeling good as well. I can`t wait until the Edinburgh game. It`s a big game, they`re right behind us in the league and they`re doing well. So we`re going to have to be right on it to get the three points.”

Acknowledging that FC Edinburgh have quality in their team Kevin questioned the tag ‘surprise package’:-

“They have and they haven`t been. They`ve got good players that have played at a decent level. They probably are our biggest rivals right now, but we`ve just got to focus on ourselves and take care of ourselves. That`ll keep us in good stead."

Kevin played in the first match against FC Edinburgh at Meadowbank (pictured above) and he claimed that it was probably one of Dunfermline’s best performances of the season and probably should have won the game by a few more.

He last played at the start of September at Palmerston Park but a scan revealed that he had torn his posterior cruciate ligament which is the ligament at the back of your knee. As a result the 24 year old was in the knee brace for 10 weeks.

“That was probably the most difficult part, being in that for so long. Once I got out of that, that`s when the rehab really kicked in. It was tough, the physios were good with me, the coaching staff have been good with me as well, as have the manager and players. It`s difficult when you`re out for so long.”

Kevin had the company of Paul Allan and Lewis McCann during his rehab and he feels that they probably helped each other through those difficult times. He now feels that is all behind him and that he is ready to return.

"I`ve done everything right, I`ve stuck to my plan and my rehab. I felt confident in it but obviously you don`t know until you go out for that first training session that the knee has healed. Touch wood that it has."

Kevin feels that he would have been fit enough for a place on the bench against his former club, Falkirk, on Monday but with another week in training he is now pushing for a starting place:-

"I was meant to be back in the squad for the first time for the Falkirk game. I was obviously gutted that it was off. As much as we all wanted the game on it was probably the best thing for me personally that I`ve managed to get another full week in of training. I`ll be fitter and in a better place than I was on Monday.”

Dunfermline were top of the league when Kevin incurred his injury and have maintained that position for all but one week of the period since then. He reflected on the need to focus on winning games and let the league position look after itself:-

“We put ourselves in that great position by how well we`ve played. Even when I`ve been out injured the boys have been excellent every week. There have been a few disappointing draws at home, but we`ve just got to get right back on it on Saturday and start with the three points again.”

Of course Kevin is hoping to play his part and, in his own way, show Alan Maybury his gratitude for his assistance in putting him on the path to a career in professional football:-

"Edinburgh are a good side and they have got players who have played at a right good level. We need to be wary of them and we know what threats they`ve got, but we`re going to have to show our threats as well."

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