THOMAS MEGGLE has given his view on Dunfermline's early season struggles and admits that team performance rests on Peter Grant's shoulders.

But the club's sporting director believes that even three of Europe's top bosses would face difficulties in carrying out work on the training ground to turn results around if they were to face recent COVID-19 and injury issues that have hit Athletic.

In a Q&A on the Pars' website, the 46-year-old - one of the investors involved with DAFC Fussball GmbH, which became majority shareholders in the summer - the former St Pauli player and coach said that he speaks with Grant, and chairman Ross McArthur, "every week either in person or on the phone".

Meggle said that "a brutal individual mistake steers us in the wrong direction" in the games they have played so far, but sympathised with Grant and the number of players he has had available at training.

Dunfermline were forced to forfeit their SPFL Trust Trophy match at Elgin City at the beginning of the month, and Meggle reckons that countrymen Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Hansi Flick, managers of Liverpool, Chelsea and the German national side respectively, would also find that tough going.

"Peter knows he is responsible for the team performance, but how is he supposed to change things in the last couple of weeks when he is sometimes on the training pitch with only six players?," he said.

"How is he supposed to practice defensive behaviour with the team? In the last two weeks I was shocked that a game had to be forfeited because of too few players. We had five players self-isolating due to Covid, six injured players and two players were away with their national teams. I am proud to have national players in the DAFC team, but in this particular situation it did not help us.

"The covid cases, the national players and injured players could not train again until Friday last week. The basis of success in football is training - if players cannot train, for whatever reason, it would be difficult even for Klopp, Tuchel or Flick.

"We started the cup season well and played very good football. But Peter and I were already concerned at that point that we had conceded too many easy goals. That then continued with the start of the second league (game) and we didn`t get out of the starting blocks.

"I exchange ideas with Peter and Ross every week either in person or on the phone. We work together in a very trusting and open way, and it`s part of that to speak the truth.

"In every game, a brutal individual mistake steers us in the wrong direction. That leads to a loss of self-confidence and belief in ourselves.

"In addition, we probably defend too carelessly and lose the ball in spaces where it is often deadly. But there are always opportunities to get back into the game. Unfortunately, we have not used our chances to score.

"Currently, we have only scored three goals, although we have 3-4 very good scoring chances in every game. That`s not enough.

"The basis, the foundation of success in football is the defensive work, the salt in the soup is the offensive. Maybe it didn`t help us that we played well and successfully in the League Cup. You quickly think it`s going to work by itself and then you`re no longer at 100 per cent performance.

"But to win games, you always have to reach your performance limits."

Meggle continued: "The first thing is to avoid individual mistakes clearly, but players are human beings though.

"Each individual must focus on his task and not switch off for a second, from the kick-off to the final whistle. If I do my defensive job, I help the team. Every single person has to do their part for success, which is not to concede a goal. As a tight, compact block, it is difficult for any opponent to score a goal. Most of the time, the opponent`s counter-attacks cause problems for many teams. Therefore, don`t lose the ball in dangerous spaces and don`t allow the opponent to counter-attack.

"Defending standard situations has also caused us problems in some games, but it is a question of will and concentration not to let the opponent get the ball. When that happens the self-confidence increases, which then helps again in the offensive game."

Meggle, who expressed his thanks to everyone for welcoming the DAFC Fussball GmbH investors "so positively" to the club, believes that the squad is good enough to at least claim a promotion play-off place.

He also said that, whilst he understands the frustration of fans, "no player loses on purpose", and that positive support can help the team turn their fortunes around.

"Basically, as an athlete, you always have the goal of winning every game," he said.

"But when we talk about the goals of a season, from my point of view it`s about the development of the team and the players, but of course games also have to be won in order to stand in the table according to the quality of the team.

"I think that overall we have a squad that should have the goal of finishing in the top four. However, as we all know, the Scottish Championship is a very tough evenly matched league. Anyone can beat anyone and you have to be careful not to get into a negative spiral.

"Unfortunately, that`s where we are at the moment.

"I can understand everyone who is dissatisfied and articulates their dissatisfaction. They give time and money to watch games. They love this club and some of them have tattoos on their bodies that are meant to last forever.

"No player loses on purpose. I think we have a very young and motivated team. Support from the fans helps the team more than negative sentiment. I can only ask every fan to support our players, but I also have to accept when they don`t do it.

"The team must focus on itself. They have to tolerate that they can only help themselves on the pitch by everyone fighting for everyone else.

"That brings me back to the theme, do your job for the team!"