‘This is a harder game than the upcoming one against Celtic because everyone will be expecting us to beat the bottom team in the league – but you can’t just turn up and win any game’, says Jimmy Calderwood.
Jimmy Calderwood:- ‘Dunfermline are fighting for survival. If they are relegated, livelihoods will be on the line because players who are out of contract might not have them renewed, so that makes them extremely dangerous.’
‘They will also take a massive lift from beating Rangers and now Hearts in the cup. I don’t see the cup as a distraction for them because of the confidence which will flow from these results.
‘Their squad is experienced enough to know that the league is what matters most and if they win every home game and draw their away ones then they’ll have every chance of staying in the SPL. They’ll also realise the need to continue picking up points soon.
‘I saw them last week against Hearts and the reports I’ve had agree that they are very strong defensively. They aren’t getting hammered like they were earlier in the season.
‘I know their players better than most and they have a lot of good professionals in their dressing-room. They’ll be determined and do their very best to avoid going down to the First Division.
It would be great to get an early goal but, until that moment, it will be difficult and we must stay patient.’
He continued ‘We have put ourselves in a good position in the league and now it is up to us to treat every game as a must win, starting this Saturday against Dunfermline. Dunfermline are good at dead ball situations and although they have not been scoring many in recent weeks they have also not been giving many away so we will have to work hard to break them down.
‘There is a lot of expectation on us to win this game which puts the pressure on us but it’s the sort of pressure we want to be under. As I’ve said before, our home form will dictate where we finish this season and this is the kind of game where anything less than the three points will be considered a disappointment.’
Russell Anderson:- ‘Because of the number of players and staff who’ve changed between the two clubs, these games always have an extra edge to them, and Dunfermline have shown in the cup what they are capable of. They’ve really tightened up at the back and I can’t see there being too many goals. The first goal will be more important than ever, especially against a side who should be growing in confidence after beating Hearts. They’re scrapping for their survival and it’s as big a game for them as it is for us, for very different reasons.’
Steve Lovell:- ‘ You have to show proper respect to the opposition and Dunfermline aren’t going to be a pushover. They’ve had some good results in the Scottish Cup, they’ve stopped conceding goals, and so they will make life difficult. It’s always been the teams that are at the lower end of the league that have caused us trouble because they tend to come and sit in, though we’ve dealt with it better this season. We have to be fully prepared for that and not underestimate them in any way.’
unfermline captain Scott Wilson:- ‘We’re playing well, we’ve been unlucky. We feel that every game we play now we can take something out of it. It bodes well for the rest of the league season.
‘We go to Aberdeen on Saturday and we think we can take something from there. There’s no reason why we can’t. We still have to play all the teams around us twice, so we just have to keep playing and keep confident.’
‘We need the guys up front to start banging them in too, but I’m sure when they start scoring they’ll not stop. The confidence in the squad is getting better. We have great strikers up front, possibly lacking confidence at the minute but the week away has helped and they’ll start scoring.
‘We’re keeping it tight enough at the back, if we start scoring goals as a team there’s only one place we’re going and that’s up the league.’
Aberdeen Team News:
Aberdeen striker Lee Miller has recovered from an ankle injury and is fit to for selection.
Jamie Smith, Zander Diamond, Craig Brewster and Richie Byrne are still some weeks away from making a first-team return at Pittodrie.
Player to watch: Lee Miller
The last time the sides met he managed to score the opening goal and then was the architect that set up Darren Mackie for the two goals that killed the Pars off as they went looking to equalise. Has been a bit ineffective recently but the recent time off will hopefully given him time to get his game back on track.
Dunfermline Team News:
Stephen Glass is available again for the Pars after being cup-tied, but Scott Muirhead faces a fitness test.
And Greg Shields, Scott Thomson and Darren Young are definitely ruled out through injury.
Player to watch: Scott Wilson
The commanding defender is a serious threat at set pieces. It was his last minute header that dumped Hearts out of the Scottish Cup and will need to be monitored. The Pars never created a clear chance the whole match but Wilson was there in the last minute, leading like a captain and fighting to the end.
Match Facts & Stats
Out of the last twelve matches against Aberdeen, Dunfermline have won three, drawn two and lost seven.
The Dons travel to Parkhead next Saturday the 17th of Feb.
t’s a 12.30 KO as the game is featuring on Setanta.