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John Hughes lays down ‘who wants to stay’ challenge to Dunfermline players

John Hughes at full-time after Dunfermilne's relegation to League One was confirmed.
John Hughes at full-time after Dunfermilne's relegation to League One was confirmed.

John Hughes says he will soon look at which of his Dunfermline players are committed to returning the Pars to the Championship.

The Fifers dropped to League One after a late play-off defeat to Queens Park on Saturday in front of their own fans.

Hughes remains committed to the club, insisting he’s the man to bounce the Fife side straight back up.

Dunfermline's Lewis Martin at full time
Lewis Martin is one of seven players soon to be out of contract.

But a major rebuilding job could be required to the playing squad.

Seven of the squad are out of contract at the end of the month, including Ryan Dow, Steven Lawless and Dan Pybus.

And even club captain Graham Dorrans, who still has another year left on his current deal, has cast doubt over his future.

Hughes admits he will have a lot of work to do over the close season.

‘Who wants to stay?’

“I’m sure over the next few days there will be a lot of banging heads together, but we have to be very clever in what we’re doing,” he said.

“We have to sleep on it and see who wants to be with us in League One. Who wants to stay and try and get the club back up.

“What kind of players can you attract? Nothing is bigger than the club.

“The club will always be there and it’s our job to get them back there. We’re bitterly disappointed.

“I’ve asked them to do stuff and had a good response from them.

“When it’s good, it’s really good. If you’ve seen us at our best, you’d be asking how are they relegated.

“We’ll have to let it sink in, see where we want to go and take it from there.

“I’ll say for the whole club, the community, everyone; we’re all in it together.

“We’re hurting, the emotions are very high, and there’s the blame game goes on.

“We just need to keep calm, sleep on it and then make sure that no matter what we’re doing we’re doing the right things and making the right decisions for the club going forward.

“But, once the dust settles, even as players, we need to come back and roll the sleeves up and be committed to getting the club back in the Championship.”

Yogi ‘still hurting’

Despite the galling defeat, Hughes says his side’s relegation was not down to the play-off defeat alone.

The side have won just seven games all season, with Yogi in charge for six of those.

Dunfermline's Lewis McCann can't hide his disappointment at full time
Dunfermline’s Lewis McCann can’t hide his disappointment at full time.

“It has been right throughout the season and we all need to stand up and look at it,” he said.

“It is very raw and we’re all hurting in there. I didn’t say too much to the players.

“I feel for the fans, the club.

“We need to take our medicine but it’s our job to try and get this club back where it belongs.”

3 Dunfermline talking points: What now for Pars after relegation to League One?

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