Ryan Dow is adamant Peter Grant has remained a picture of positivity during Dunfermline’s torrid start to the Championship campaign.
The Pars boss confessed that he felt the strain last week as suggestions mounted that another meek defeat against Inverness would result in his dismissal.
He noted: “I am not one of those guys who kid you on and say that I have not been feeling the pressure. Of course you do.”
As it was, the Fifers claimed a creditable 0-0 draw against the Caley Jags, who boasted a 100 per cent league record prior to their arrival at East End Park.
Dow insists Grant has never allowed the pressure to effect his demeanour on the training pitch — and reckons that is down to his steadfast faith in the quality of the group.
However, he knows that counts for nothing if the players don’t prove it on the grass.
“What you can see is the gaffer’s desperation to get that first win,” said Dow. “That echoes everyone at the football club. The longer that wait goes on, the more it eats away.
“But he’s always been positive and I think that mentality comes from the fact he knows the group we have.
“It’s easy for me to say that — and we can’t keep saying it then not winning — but the quality is in that dressing room.
“We know the start we could have made as a team and what we’ve produced has been nowhere near those standards.
“We need to turn it around quickly otherwise the words count for nothing.”
Much the same can be said for Hamilton.
Few would have predicted this fixture would represent a grim battle between the Championship’s bottom-two — but that is the stark reality for Dow and his teammates.
Accies, in ninth spot, have already seen a change of management. Stuart Taylor replaced Brian Rice in August. Grant is fighting to ensure he does not suffer the same fate.
“I don’t think either club would have imagined they would be in this position,” rued Dow. “Even five games in, you don’t want to be at the bottom of the league. The clubs will be desperate to kick-start their season and it is a massive game for both.”
Flipping the script
Indeed, Dow sees the next seven days as a platform to ‘flip’ Dunfermline’s stuttering season.
Today’s visit of Accies is followed by a midweek trip to Raith Rovers before a testing encounter with Queen of the South next Saturday.
Should the malaise continue, Grant would do well to survive the subsequent October international hiatus.
Conversely, if the Pars can rack up an impressive points haul then the mood could swiftly alter.
“Three games, back-to-back, is exactly what we want,” Dow added. “If we can get three points on Saturday then go into the next two games and get positive results, we are flipping the season before the international break.”