Dunfermline Athletic

Paul McGowan First Interview

Wednesday, 22nd Feb 2023

“They are a young team with plenty of runners in the team, some fantastic players, but sometimes you just need to calm it down, play passes through midfield and get to our wingers and strikers feet. Hopefully I can bring that"

Discounting keeper Deniz Mehmet, only Aaron Comrie, Craig Wighton, Nikolay Todorov, Joe Chalmers and Kyle Benedictus are over the age of 25. With his loan period from Dundee Paul McGowan hopes to bring experience and when needed, a calmness to Dunfermline’s young squad. That is a good thing claimed Paul:-

“They are a young team with plenty of runners in the team, some fantastic players, but sometimes you just need to calm it down, play passes through midfield and get to our wingers and strikers feet. Hopefully I can bring that.

“James was open and said that they were light and if they were to get a couple of injuries they could be struggling a wee bit but it is always good to have somebody older in the changing room. You can see the benefit of always having one or two around about the place and if anything goes wrong, when under pressure or not getting the results, then they can try and coach them through it.

“We have all been there not winning games, being promoted, honestly it’s a rollercoaster. Football is up and down, win one week and you can enjoy it for a day then you are back into training.”

With his 35 years and over 300 matches for Dundee in a career of 479 senior appearances since making his debut while on loan at Morton in August 2006, Paul feels that he can bring a maturity to the Pars run in to the end of the season:-

“I watched the game on Saturday and I thought in large parts they were good but there was that naïveté just kicking instead of making a pass to your flair players, players who want to run with the ball because, especially in this league, no defender wants players running at them with pace and with power. Hopefully I can bring that and try and get the players to go and run and create.

“There is a good mix here and I was delighted to get the move done. I am not coming here to just see my career out. Hopefully I can be here for even longer because I still feel that I have a lot to give. It was a hard decision leaving Dundee after being there for so long but I felt that it was time for a change, just to get that fire back in. I never lost it, as soon as it goes I will hang my boots up.”

Paul will be out of contract at Dundee at the end of this season and felt that he needed a change of scenery:-

“It was a hard decision but hopefully it is the right one. It has been a difficult season for me, I got injured three months ago and although I can’t remember the last time that I was last out injured, I struggled with it. It was my knee and that’s me just back there two weeks ago. Everything has been going great but I just felt that the Dundee squad was massive and they have only twelve games to go. I spoke to Gary Bowyer who I have a good relationship with and it was a mutual agreement. Probably if I hadn’t got injured I would not be here but hopefully it turns out to be a great move. We need to get out of this league and we are in a good position.”

Paul sustained a knock on his knee which has kept him out since Dundee’s defeat at Cove Rangers in October but is now confident that he has recovered from that:-

“Yes that’s me been back for two or three weeks. Saturday might come a bit too quick but I hope to be in the squad, hopefully come on and play some part but I’m raring to go the following week. It’s been one of those things, it has taken longer to heal than I would have wanted but that’s just old age I suppose.”

Having encountered James McPake and Dave MacKay’s training at Dundee the midfielder admitted that he knew that it would be tough but he didn’t mind that at all:-

“He knows what I’m about, I know what he is about - he is a winner. Even though I’m his mate away from football that changes when we come through these doors. He probably dropped me more in my career than any other Dundee manager and I was there for ten years. He sometimes left me out for some games and as you get older you accept that. He doesn’t care who you are and what you have done. If you are not doing it for him either out on the pitch or in training, he will leave you out. That is what I respect about him. He doesn’t care what you have done in the game.”

Charlie Adam is an example of a player with a great career who was left out plenty of times at Dundee and Paul continued:-

“That’s what I like about him, he doesn’t listen to anybody or any noise from anybody. If you are not doing it, it’s his way or no way. Obviously I am not happy to be left out, nobody ever wants to be left out but I have been fortunate that I have more or less always played in my career.

“That has come through working hard, training hard and you have got to be at it every week because squads are that big now that there are players just waiting to come in. I’m 35 now, no spring chicken but I’ll still work as hard as any of them in there. I’m maybe not as quick, I have never been quick but I have the football brain and more than other players I can take the ball, bring a calmness to the team that I feel that they sometimes need.

“It is going to be a difficult couple of months but if the boys play the way they know they can then they can keep pushing. They are top of the league for a reason and that’s because they are good players and that is what they need to believe.”

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