Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline`s Faith In McPake Could See The Ultimate Reward

Date: Friday, 5th Apr 2024

With 31 games played in the 2023/24 Scottish Championship campaign, it has been a pretty mixed campaign for fans of  Dunfermline Athletic.

We sit in fifth place in the table, and although Airdrieonians do currently have a game in hand over us, we are only one point shy of them right now as things stand. A potential stronger end to the current campaign certainly did not seem to be on the cards for manager James McPake when we went through our nine game winless run, but this week, after a more significant turn in our form, our 39 year old gaffer has now been awarded the Manager of the Month Award for March. Few football gambling sites would have offered odds on that happening even two months ago.

In the more modern age of football, it is pretty common for gaffers to get this kind of acknowledgement and then immediately pass the praise onto their backroom staff and the players for their performances, but for McPake, given our struggles during the nine game winless run, the Board at East End Park are also deserving of sharing in that praise.

With the Pars picking up four wins from six games across the month, Saturday`s 3-2 victory over Arbroath was the first time we had put three straight victories together this campaign, and even then, McPake could easily criticise the overall performance and some of our passages of play, and defensive efforts.

The Manager of the Month award is obviously very deserved, and with five games remaining in our pretty turbulent and inconsistent season, the opportunity for a push for a late promotion Play Off spot is potentially within our grasp.

Even if that does not ultimately come to pass for us this year, the fact that we are now in this position will be an unexpected bonus for many, and with the Board showing faith in McPake despite the notable problems we had, they will feel that this faith has been rewarded and that it should bring further optimism when it comes to the campaign that lies ahead.

Particularly if we can avoid the injury situation that undoubtedly more than played its part in our incredibly poor form a few months ago, and despite the boos, the calls and talk of McPake being relieved of his duties, we could now see a very positive result come directly out of our Board`s patience and their acknowledgement of the injury mitigation.

The fact the club were in the dreaded second bottom spot in the second tier table just barely six weeks ago, just demonstrates how quickly things in this beautiful and crazy game change when you get players back from injury and then put a run of form together, and it always leaves you wondering `what if` when it comes to gaining that extra draw or that extra win earlier in the season, and what that could have meant for our chances right now.

But it is simply over to the players to make up for that, and make the opportunity that now presents itself a reality so that we can all end 2023/24 on a massive high as we look to the year ahead.

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