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Dunfermline’s James McPake on loan market ‘domino effect’ and the managerial merry-go-round disrupting transfers

James McPake switched his formation at half-time.
James McPake switched his formation at half-time.

James McPake has opened up on one of the reasons transfer activity may not be going as quickly as he, and the fans, would like.

The Dunfermline boss has been pleased with his players so far, on the pitch and off it, after they won their first two warm-up games 2-0 and 6-0 – but is conscious that it is still preseaon.

Despite this he is eager to add to the squad ahead of the real action getting under way a week on Saturday at East Fife in the Premier Sports Cup.

There has been frustration along the way. One example he McPake points to is recent managerial appointments in the Scottish Premiership that are slowing down the loan market.

“I know I say this every week, but we’re working extremely hard,” he said.

“It’s tough because if you look through the leagues, the amount of clubs that have got new managers. That makes it harder to get other players in.

New Dundee United boss Jack Ross (right) sporting a ‘moon boot’ at training

“If you are looking to [Premiership clubs] to utilise the loan market: Dundee United with Jack [Ross], they started on Thursday there. So Jack’s going to want to look at all the players.

At Dundee you’ve got a new manager, so Gary Bowyer going to want to look at all his players.

“Hibs in Lee Johnson have got a new manager, so he’s going to want to assess his full squad.

“We’ve come in here… it’s a domino effect.

“What you need to do is focus on what you’ve and, one get them as fit as possible; and, two, just keep working hard to strengthen, which we’re doing.”

The manager added that he is currently focussing on the talent at his disposal, including the teenagers racking up the minutes this preseason.

But once the loan market does start to become more active, McPake is sure to delve into it, given both he and Dunfermline have had success with it in the past.

James McPake says he is working hard on transfers.

“It’s something we’re [looking at],” he said.

“Rangers and Celtic are just starting back as well, so when you’re looking to get players out of those clubs, it’s tough because the managers need them in preseason.”

The Pars manager also wants to avoid the charge of being labelled a hypocrite, adding: “Like ourselves, we wouldn’t put anyone out just now, so you can’t be too greedy.”

McPake meanwhile is pleased with how his preseason schedule is progressing, with no fresh injury concerns.

He informs us with glee that his players were in for a “horrible session” once the interviews are over.

It means they are still going into matches with tiredness that won’t be there come the start of the season.

“At the minute, the results aren’t the most important thing,” said McPake.

“It’s about getting to a level – and them pushing themselves to a level that they maybe didn’t think they could go to.”

James McPake reveals he tried to sign ‘huge talent’ Craig Wighton TWICE for Dundee – and is ‘delighted’ to have him at Dunfermline

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