Dunfermline Athletic

Manager appreciates fan power

Tuesday, 23rd May 2023

Team will give absolutely everything for Pars fantastic fans

One year ago this week, on 24th May 2022 James McPake was unveiled as the new manager of Dunfermline Athletic. He had experience of taking over a team at Dundee but that came after four years there as a player and over a year coaching in the Dundee Football Academy. How would it go at a club that was totally new to him? He can remember arriving a bit apprehensive, not sure how it was going to go at a club that had suffered relegation less than three weeks previously.

A real worry to the then 37 year old new manager was how the supporters would react to the disappointment of the previous season and his arrival to face the reality of life in League One.

Roll the clock forward one year and James has said several times just how incredible he has found the backing from the Dunfermline fans and he is delighted to learn that season cards for the North West Stand for next season are currently sold out and after experiencing a surge in sales the 1000 total was past over ten days ago.

“When I came in I just didn’t know how it would go, what the expectations would be of the fans being in League One. I think they realised that we were in it because we deserved to be in it and they realised that we were going to need them right behind us from the start to pick those players back up. That was the main concern, I wasn’t too bothered about how my appointment would be received. I believe in the work and what we do.

“I had taken a blow as well with losing a job. You are hurting when that happens so it was important that I just got stuck into the job and work as hard as I could. That is what we did and thankfully the fans got behind us even after the Alloa game where we lost on penalties here.”

That result meant Dunfermline failed to qualify out of their League Cup group for the first time in six seasons. The cinch League One campaign started with two 1-0 home wins over Alloa Athletic and Montrose and an expected comfortable win away to FC Edinburgh. Alloa were defeated when a Matty Todd cross that ended up in the net and it took a late Nikolay Todorov goal to see off Stewart Petrie’s side but that day Dunfermline hit the top of the table.

Apart from three brief occasions, first place would continue to be held right through until the end of the season. James reflected:-

“It wasn’t spectacular, it wasn’t free fast flowing football but it was exactly what we said it would be in the first interview, it was leaving everything out there. Any supporter can relate to that, any manager needs that and wants that. When you see the fans get behind your team just solely down to the way they are working hard, I think that is the only thing you can control. You cannot help mistakes, cannot score wonder goals, predict a last minute winner like Lewis McCann’s here against Clyde.

“Those things are down to hard work, I’m a firm believer in that and that’s the one thing that we will promise this year again. I cannot promise a lovely big podium on the pitch, what we can promise is the eleven we pick plus the five subs we use and with the changes we make, they will all come on and give absolutely everything for this fantastic support. If we continue to do that they will continue to back us.”

The North West Stand is currently sold out for new season tickets during the renewal period for the 2023/24 season. Existing Season Card holders have until 12 noon on Saturday 1st July 2023 to renew their seats. Any seats not renewed will then go on general sale.



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