MARK CONNOLLY has only been a Pars player for less than three weeks but he has seen enough to believe they can turn their season around.

But the experienced centre back insists that any talk of the quality that lies within the squad must be backed up by performances on the pitch – and sooner rather than later.

Irishman Connolly, 29, put pen to paper on a loan move from Dundee United until January on Wednesday September 29 and was pitched in for his debut immediately that evening in the Fife derby with Raith Rovers, having not had a chance to train with his team-mates.

That was his first start since May, in a game against Motherwell, in which he injured his cruciate ligament but he got another 90 minutes under his belt during last Saturday's defeat at Queen of the South.

Connolly, who can also count Kilmarnock and Crawley Town among his former clubs, has arrived at East End with the side bottom of the Championship and winless in eight league matches, and with the club having backed manager Peter Grant, who has come under severe pressure from the supporters.

Speaking exclusively to Press Sport for last Thursday's edition, even although he joked that he could "barely talk now from shouting on Saturday", the Republic of Ireland under-21 cap acknowledges that confidence has taken a hit but is convinced the Pars can improve their form.

"The boys were quite deflated after it but we keep going," he said.

"I've only been in five days or whatever now but we've just got to keep going, stay positive and roll our sleeves up, and hopefully the results come.

"From what I've seen in the dressing room, there's more than enough talent there to push up the table.

"We're a young team. Like I said, we've got some good boys in the dressing room, and my initial thoughts are there's definitely more than enough quality to push us up the table.

"We need to get results, and that's it. We can't keep talking about it, we can't keep saying we'll do this, we'll do that. We need to do it. Once we get that win and get the confidence of the boys up, we can push on.

"We're working hard and I think hard work's going to be a big thing for us."

Lee Connelly's goal five minutes from time condemned Dunfermline to a fourth defeat of season, in a match that Grant himself described afterwards as "as poor as game as I've ever been involved in".

That prompted some of the travelling fans to air their frustration, which Connolly sympathised with, but said it was important the squad stick together to get the club out of its current predicament.

"I can understand they're frustrated. They've travelled in their numbers, which is brilliant to see, and it's such a long trip to go down to Queens but they're frustrated and you can totally understand that," he continued.

"We're bottom of the table and we're there for a reason.

"Us as players, and the staff, need to change it. That's it. They pay their money to come and watch and all I would say personally would probably be that we've got a young team so it's trying to use it in the right way because we need to keep the young boys' confidence up and keep pushing them to do well.

"I can understand there's frustration but all we can do as players and staff at the club is make sure we keep working hard and that we're trying to do the right things to push the club forward.

"I think everyone in that dressing room wants to do that. They want the club to go forward, they want to win games and be pushing for promotion. That's what it should be for a club the size of Dunfermline.

"Whether you're winning or losing, that's got to be the direction of any football club, coming together as a team and as a football club and being united in what you're doing.

"Boys want to be together, fighting for each other and getting points, especially now. We're bottom of the table and I know it's early into the season but we don't want to be there.

"I don't really want to be at the bottom of the table. I want to come in and win games and I'm pretty sure everyone will be fighting for each other to make sure we push up the table."

Dunfermline's next match isn't until October 16, against Connolly's former club Killie, due to this week's international break.

"It's a tricky one; sometimes you would probably want a game to bounce back but maybe there's some stuff now we can work on," he added.

"Obviously, I've come in as a new player and the manager might have some stuff that he wants to work on, and there might be a few things we want to change.

"I'm no psychic, I don't know if it'll be a good thing or a bad thing, but hopefully it will be a good thing.

"The next game, which is the big one, Kilmarnock at home, we want to make sure we turn up and put on a right performance and get a result."