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4 Dunfermline talking points as John Hughes and Dom Thomas inspire first Championship win of the season

Dom Thomas celebrates
Dom Thomas celebrates

New boss John Hughes inspired Dunfermline to their first Championship victory of the season following a dramatic intervention in Inverness.

Trailing 1-0 to a Billy McKay goal, ‘Yogi’ dashed to the away dressing room at the break to deliver a few words of wisdom.

What followed was a remarkable turnaround, with Danny Devine’s own goal and a Dom Thomas stunner securing a 2-1 triumph; a first league win at the 14th time of asking.

The Pars are now just two points adrift of guaranteed safety.

And Courier Sport was at the Caledonian Stadium for a landmark afternoon in the Pars’ campaign.

Ringing the changes

In their last hurrah at the helm, Steven Whittaker and Greg Shields showed the fortitude to make big changes.

Lewis McCann, brother of ex-St Johnstone hero Ali, started for the first time since a dead rubber against Alloa in April.

Fit-again Graham Dorrans was restored to the side and took the captaincy following six weeks on the sidelines.

Return: Dorrans

Kyle Macdonald, considered Dunfermline’s best crosser by those at East End Park, was deployed in an unfamiliar right midfield role.

Yogi’s presence felt

The preparation and team selection were all down to interim co-managers Whittaker and Shields.

Hughes will not oversee his first training session as Pars boss until Monday morning.

However, the former Hibs and Raith Rovers gaffer made his presence immediately felt.

Back at the home of Inverness — the club he led to the Scottish Cup in 2015 — he spent the hour prior to kick-off patrolling the dugout area.

The 57-year-old reconnected with old colleagues like Barry Wilson, now first-team coach with the Caley Jags, and enjoyed a laugh with the inimitable Pars kit-man Mo Hutton.

And he could not hold his tongue following an underwhelming first-half showing by the visitors.

Hughes addresses his new charges pre-match

The Pars trailed at the break through McKay’s strike, with the veteran striker tapping home the rebound after Aaron Doran rattled the post.

Hughes sought to spark a response from his charges at the interval, sprinting down from the director’s box to join Whittaker and Shields in addressing the Pars players.

Would it work? Would it ever.

‘Magic wand’

In a no-nonsense first interview with Dunfermline’s official website, Hughes emphasised that he had no magic wand for the Pars’ predicament.

However, there was wizardry in his words.

Dunfermline restored parity within five minutes of the restart, with Aaron Comrie’s devilish delivery turned into his own net by Devine.

Dunfermline’s tempo, drive and attacking impetus was unrecognisable after Hughes’ intervention.

Hughes and Thomas: A match made in heaven?

Who else?

Dom Thomas was irrepressible in the Highlands, constantly surging forward and searching for that killer pass.

His endeavours were rewarded with the winning goal; a sumptuous curling drive into the top-corner after a gallus solo run.

Thomas is a massive, mercurial personality in the Dunfermline dressing room.

Hughes, a lover of inventive mavericks, could be the man to get the best out of him; Stokes, Latapy and Riordan, anyone?

John Hughes labels Dunfermline ‘a laughing stock’ in ‘siege mentality’ quest – as Pars boss addresses Raith Rovers nightmare

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