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James McPake praises ‘real togetherness’ at Dunfermline after joining fans for BREAKFAST at East End Park

New Dunfermline boss James McPake
Dunfermline manager James McPake.

Dunfermline manger James McPake has praised the “real togetherness” at the club and insisted any suggestion his side are among the favourites for League One “means nothing”.

Speaking after the release of fixtures for the upcoming SPFL League One campaign, McPake was reluctant to pick out any tie in particular as being key this far in advance.

The only period of the calendar which drew his attention was the festive season, for the sake of the manager’s young girls.

Dunfermline travel to take on local rivals Kelty Hearts on Christmas Eve, then don’t play again until they face Falkirk on January 2nd.

“I’ll need to make sure I’m back in time [on Christmas Eve] to lock the door for Santa,” joked McPake.

“It’s great that the fixtures are out. You get the feeling again that the season is coming around. It just gives you that wee buzz for the games starting, I’m looking forward to it.

Earlier in the day the club held a breakfast event which supporters could attend for rolls and hot drinks as the fixtures were released, in a noticeable bid to engage with the wider community.

There, club legend Jim Leishman was the compere, introducing McPake — who continues to call his old boss “gaffer” after their time together at Livingston — and new signings Kyle Benedictus and Chris Hamilton to the audience.

At one point, Leishman’s questioning was interrupted by the ringtone from his phone. “See that Sir Alex,” he quipped as he silenced it and returned it to his top pocket.

“There seems to be a real togetherness here that I’m liking,” added McPake, “but we need to build on that.

“We’re doing this for everyone, not just the players. We’re doing it for the full football club – and ultimately who we do it for is the fans. Which I know is a cliché, but it’s the truth.”

Dunfermline go into the new season among the favourites for League One but will face stiff competition from one or all of Falkirk, Queen of the South, Airdrie Montrose and Kelty Hearts.

However, McPake stressed that these tags will mean nothing when the campaign kicks off on July 30 at home to Alloa Athletic.

“We take each day as it comes. It’s a tough, tough league. I’ve had it, I’ve experienced it with Dundee, being one the favourites. It means nothing. It doesn’t guarantee you get out the league.

“We focus only on Dunfermline and that’s it. We focus on getting three points on a Saturday. The outside noise we can’t control.

“The one thing I will say is we are in this league for a reason: because we weren’t good enough last season to stay in the Championship.”

James McPake addresses Graham Dorrans Dunfermline future as former Dundee midfielder ‘rolls back the years’

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