Dunfermline Athletic

This club can go further - Clark

Friday, 29th Apr 2016

Having signed a new two year deal, Sandy Clark will again partner Allan Johnston.

Sandy told the website that he was delighted:-

"The last year for everybody at the club has been exciting and more to the point enjoyable. That comes along with success and winning games. I think it is a natural process but I am delighted to be here for the immediate future."

The two year term displays confidence in the management but a situation that suits everyone:-

"I am not getting any younger but I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. We will get time to settle down and do the best we can, organise the football side and try to kick on."

In winning the league, the management team met the goals laid down by the board, Sandy looked back on that achievement:-

"I have been at the club before and I know the potential the club has, the support it has, the potential size of support and the backing if the team does well. To be fair right from the start of the season the Board have given us a very fair budget to try and manage the club out of League One.

"It is alright expecting it but you have to make it happen. Allan and I had a similar challenge at Queen of the South. We learned from that experience; we got that one right and we used the same model to work at Dunfermline. It has proved to work again for us. We certainly got that bit right and the challenge now is to improve and take on the challenge that is there in the Championship. Hopefully we can challenge at the top end."

At no stage in the 2015-2016 season that Sandy Clark had any doubts that the goal of winning the league title would not be achievable at Dunfermline:-

"Once we had been round the first nine games and watched everyone else in the league you know. Football is all about players and we had and have got the best players in the league, there is no doubt about that. If we can organise that properly, keep the fitness levels up and get a bit of spirit about the place which is obviously there in abundance, then that is the formula that wins you leagues.

"We were expected to win but you still have to make sure that you take it on board. I don't need to remind Dunfermline fans, it was the same position but it really didn't happen.

"At most football clubs, the first thing and rightly so, that fans expect is players to be on the pitch with their sleeves rolled up and giving it their best shot. If they don't do that, as a player you are cheating the fans. We have not had that issue.

"I think the fans really appreciate the effort that the guys are putting in and the quality of the performances as well; there has been a lot of good football this season."

The Assistant Manager knows that the step up into the Championship will mean meeting good opponents:-

"I don't mean brilliant teams but well organised, experienced teams who know the league and they know how to survive in it. Some of them know how to be challenging at the top end but the first aim at the start of the season is to make sure that you do not get involved in a difficult situation near the bottom of the league.

"I have got to say, looking at the players that we have re-signed already, and hopefully we will add to that, all being well we should be in a position to challenge for the top four. I am not saying we will be there but we can certainly challenge for that area.

"Allan Johnston is a young and ambitious manager. I still have the drive and ambition - it is still there- and we are trying to get to buy into the belief that this club can go further. If they commit the way we think they will do then there is no reason why we can't do well."

Attendances at East End Park have so far averaged 3274 in 2015-2016 with one big gate still to come against Peterhead on Saturday. That figure is only bettered by four Championship clubs and Sandy feels that with the support it has, it should be in the Premier League.

"The fan base is there and they have been used to that over a lot of years in recent times. The home crowd this year has been great and that is without many away fans coming here.

"On Saturday against Peterhead five, six, seven thousand expected, all Dunfermline fans and if we can get a majority of them coming back next season then it should make sure there is a good atmosphere inside East East Park. Opposition like Raith Rovers and Falkirk will bring a big game atmosphere. It will be a good place to go and play and I am looking forward to it."

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