Dunfermline Athletic

Paul fighting his corner for a place

Friday, 24th Feb 2023

“I will keep practicing them and if that’s the thing that gets me back in the team, that’s what I will practice at training.

Dunfermline’s 23 year old midfielder Paul Allan last played on 6th August. Injury has seen him miss 26 matches until he was able to be named on the bench for last Saturday’s home game against Airdrieonians. He told the website that it was good to be back:-

“When I was injured it is not the best time, you are maybe not in the best headspace but being around the club, the atmosphere has been really good and the spirits have been really high and I think that has helped me during my injury to push on to get back as quick as possible.”

Paul’s injury was a serious stress fracture that required an operation on the outside of his foot similar to the Beckham and Rooney ones. As a player, manager James McPake suffered a similar setback and acted as a valuable mentor Paul explained:-

“With what happened to the manager, the same setback with the same fracture happening again, he was a good mentor for me for the surgery because he has obviously had it in his career. I was a bit anxious about going for the surgery, I had never had it done before but the gaffer has and he talked me to just go ahead with it. Thankfully so far everything has gone well.”

The only other injury to keep Paul off the park was a grade two hamstring tear that caused him to miss the final eight matches of last season. So this is the first one to keep me out for a long period of time. He claimed that It had been frustrating but he was just glad to be back on the bench last Saturday:-

“I trained on the Thursday and Friday so it was good to be back involved on the Saturday, albeit on the bench, to be part of the squad was excellent.”

Manager James McPake has a full squad to select from and Paul’s availability coincides with the arrival at East End Park of Paul McGowan, on loan from Dundee. As the League One season entering its final third and what could be an exciting time to return, Paul will find the competition for places has grown. He added:-

“I think that Paul McGowan coming in can only be a good thing for the squad to get in some more experience and another good player amongst us training every day and pushing the standards. It can only be a positive and someone for me to compete with for a place in the squad.

“You can see that it is a young squad but so far we have been doing really well so for Paul to come in, add a wee bit of experience in training and on a Saturday can only help the squad.”

Paul recognises that a 35 year old player like McGowan with maturity and the experience of playing hundreds of senior matches could be a major asset in the run in:-

“Being an older member in the squad he has natural leadership with the experience that he has got. I think it will help the young boys a lot and help myself as well.”

James McPake was impressed with Paul Allan’s delivery from setplays and corners in the opening six matches under him and Paul views that quality the ideal one to force his way into contention:-

“I will keep practicing them and if that’s the thing that gets me back in the team, that’s what I will practice at training. I was there watching the Clyde game where we only managed to get a point . We were piling a lot of pressure on, setpieces can be vital to create the goal or the chance to get the momentum going. It is a big part and if I can take them then excellent.

“The Falkirk game was a perfect example of a setpiece we practiced in training through the staff watching video of how Falkirk set up. They felt as though that back post could be exposed and it came off perfectly and got us the win in the end. They are massive come match days and they could be the difference between getting three points or just a draw.”

Watch Paul Allan`s interview with Jordan Burt for PARStv

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