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Steven Whittaker: Dunfermline are in a relegation ‘dogfight’ — and the players need to find answers

Dorrans, centre, in the dugout
Dorrans, centre, in the dugout

Steven Whittaker admits Dunfermline are now firmly embroiled in a scrap for survival after being cut four points adrift at the foot of the Championship.

Few in the Pars dressing room expected a relegation battle when they signed on for the Peter Grant revolution during the summer.

But 13 winless league games later, Grant has been dismissed and the table makes grim reading.

Under the charge of interim co-managers Steven Whittaker and Greg Shields, Dunfermline slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Morton at East End Park.

“We are massively aware that we are in a dogfight right now and we need every together to get out of it,” said Whittaker.

“I’m sure the players didn’t think that [a relegation battle] would be the case, but I’m pretty sure they are aware of it now.

“That’s what is being said in the dressing room and they know they need to roll their sleeves up to get results.

“They are all gutted and asking the right questions, but they need to come up with the answers; together, we need to find the answers.”

Accountability

Morton claimed victory through Gary Oliver’s brace and a close-range strike from ex-Par Gozie Ugwu.

A first-ever Dunfermline goal from Matty Todd — and, indeed, the youngster’s overall performance — was a faint silver lining on a grim afternoon.

However, the hosts were made to pay for woeful defending.

Pars coach: Whittaker

“Our job is to win games and get out of the position we are in and that wasn’t achieved,” continued the former Hibs, Rangers and Scotland defender.

“Regardless of some of the good play we had in the first half, it counts for nothing.

“We can have all the ball and all the nice play but it comes down to that grit and determination to do the right things at the right time. We got caught short on that.

“The boys are in the dressing room holding themselves accountable and they know it’s not good enough.”

Dunfermline 1-3 Morton: Life after Peter Grant begins in defeat as winless Pars face reality of relegation battle

 

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