Pars No Pushovers
The last round was a wake up call for SPL sides. Will there be some more surprises in store tonight?
Dunfermline's line-up against Aberdeen at East End Park could include Josh Falkingham after the midfielder missed Saturday's 4-0 win over Livingston due to a virus. However, Chris Kane's ankle injury continues to keep him sidelined. That Pars assistant manager Gerry McCabe can see his side being more than a match for their SPL opponents. He said: "We defeated Aberdeen 3-0 at East End Park in our best home performance of last season, so we can go into the game with nothing to fear. They will be tough opponents but being at home is always a good draw to get. They had been struggling to score goals but got three at the weekend, but they also conceded three and that will be a worry for them.''Aberdeen manager Craig Brown (c) Ger Harley|SportPix.org.uk
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown can see a different scenario playing out if his players seize a "great opportunity'' for trophy success. Four of the seven SPL teams involved in the second round lost to lower-league opposition, and Brown wants his team to take advantage of this chance. Brown, who has led his team in three Hampden semi-finals since arriving from Motherwell in December 2010, said: "We've got to approach every game with the determination to be successful because we want to be successful on all fronts. The SPL is obviously the bread and butter, the priority, but there's a great opportunity for all clubs and, particularly I would say ours at the moment, in this competition, because some of the SPL, I think four are out already, and other teams who could cause a problem, Motherwell and Rangers, we're going to lose one of them. So there's a great opportunity for us all, for those left, and we want to seize that opportunity so we'll do our utmost at Dunfermline to progress to the quarter-final.''The Pars may not be an easy team to get past for the Dons as manager Jim Jefferies has steered them to an unbeaten run in the Irn-Bru First Division. Brown said: "Jim's a wonderful manager and you can be sure he's saying to his players that this is an opportunity to prove themselves. This is a great opportunity for them to prove that they were deserving of being in the SPL. Jim's made a couple of good signings and strengthened what was a Dunfermline team that gave us problems last year. So I think it's a stronger-looking Dunfermline team right now than the one that was relegated.''
Brown could make changes following Sunday's 3-3 draw with SPL leaders Motherwell. Speaking yesterday, he said: "We'll probably freshen the team but I wouldn't say we'll make massive changes. We haven't yet decided on the team because one or two have bumps and bruises. Wee Ryan Fraser, for example, didn't train today (Tuesday). It's not surprising that he's got a few bruises after every game we find, but he's such a brave guy, he never lies down, he gets up and gets on with it, but he's requiring treatment at the moment.''
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