Pars players will not give up without a fight says Gerry
Published 16 Mar 2012 09:15 0 Comments
HEALING hands and a three-week break could help the Pars survive a relegation battle with key players set to return.
Jim McIntyre's men will be idle again this weekend - their last game was 3rd March - but the enforced lay-off has given the injury list a chance to clear.
And he's also adopted a spying game with St Mirren, their next opponents on 24th March, being watched carefully in three matches.
The home clash with the Buddies is the first of eight matches to save the Pars' season and they'll be boosted by the return of at least four players.
Assistant boss Gerry McCabe said, "Mark Kerr is back training, Kyle Hutton has shaken off a virus and chest infection while Andy Kirk and Paul Burns are in full training too.
"Kevin Rutkiewicz has started jogging, he'll still be out but we may get him back sooner than later, and Iain Turner has done some work with the goalkeeping coach and the physio.
"We're just going to monitor his situation, he'd never had back spasms before he came here, so we'll see how he is next week."
Despite the injury crisis easing, McCabe said he had never known a situation like it.
He exclaimed, "In all my days in football, as a player and then on to the coaching side with Hibs, Kilmarnock and Plymouth, I've never seen so many injuries to key players.
"Some have also been long-term, which has really hampered us in terms of trying to put a settled team on the pitch.
"It's been one in and two out at times, that's the way it's worked for us so fingers crossed we get a good run from now on."
The players were given a few days off to "recharge the batteries" and were back training on Friday after efforts to arrange a bounce game faltered.
With time on their hands, the management duo should know a lot about St Mirren by the time the sides meet next Saturday.
McCabe said, "We saw them on Saturday, they've got Dundee United at home on Saturday and we've another chance to watch them in midweek with the Scottish Cup replay against Hearts. The good thing is we're not detached.
"We know Hibs have a game in hand but there are a lot of points to play for and, with players back, we're in a much healthier position and more competitive."
He continued, "The dressing room spirit is great and that's a credit to the boys.
"They know the games they've let us down and should have won but now we know the situation - there are eight games and every one is a cup final.
"We are determined to keep Dunfermline in this league, the boys know it's the only league to play in and they worked so hard to get there.
"We're not giving up without a fight."