Danny Devine insists Dunfermline’s defenders are ready to stand up to the challenge for the second week running as they bid to shut out in-demand Ayr United star Lawrence Shankland.
Devine and team-mates Lee Ashcroft and Mark Durnan put the shackles on Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu in last weekend’s Betfred Cup tie between the teams.
The Jambos forward had terrorised the Celtic rearguard just seven days previously but made little impact against the Pars.
Devine is fully aware the East End Park men have another massive task ahead this afternoon against Shankland, who has already netted an incredible 11 times in eight games this season.
But the former Inverness Caley and Partick Thistle stopper is convinced the Fifers can keep Ayr and Shankland at bay at Somerset Park.
He said: “We knew going into the Hearts game that he [Ikpeazu] had been in a bit of form and he was their danger man.
“For us, in defence, we want to test ourselves against the best players and the best strikers in Scotland, and he’s arguably one of those at the minute.
“The boys loved it. It’s always good when there’s a challenge put in front of you and you have to confront it head on.
“Me and the other two lads enjoy a battle and we enjoy defending; that’s our job at the end of the day.
“We’ll face another tough player in Lawrence Shankland this weekend. He’s obviously scored a lot of goals so far.
“But we don’t concentrate too much on that, we concentrate on ourselves and being solid as a whole and as a unit and a team.
“They have other good players in their team who are just as good and who can also hurt us.
“We won’t just be looking at one player, but he is obviously in a bit of form, and we’ll have to do our job to keep a clean sheet.”
Most observers were of the opinion Dunfermline deserved more than a 1-0 defeat against Hearts last Saturday and to have more than matched a team who were fresh from beating Celtic the week before can only give the Pars belief, says Devine.
He added: “I know we lost but the boys are trying to take the positives from it. It was a really good performance and it’s all about standards now.
“We’ve set the standard with that performance against Hearts and if we want to do well in this league it’s all about being consistent and having the right attitude.
“It’s all about taking the positives into the league campaign.”