JAMES McPAKE has said that the Pars are “working night and day” to bolster their squad for the new season.

The East End boss completed his first signing since taking over from John Hughes last month in the shape of centre back Kyle Benedictus, who signed a two-year contract after leaving Raith Rovers.

McPake, who played with the 30-year-old while they were both at Dundee, was delighted to bring in a player that he described as a “leader” and someone “who wants to defend”.

Five players who were on loan with Dunfermline last season, as well as seven who were out-of-contract, have also left and the new manager is keen to add to his squad.

Heart of Midlothian’s Chris Hamilton, who spent last season on loan with Arbroath, and Kirk Broadfoot, who has left Inverness Caledonian Thistle, are among the names that the Pars have been linked with, and McPake said: “We’re working night and day on players, and the type of player and the quality of player to develop in these surroundings and help us develop as a football club because we need to get back to winning ways.

“It is slow at the minute. I can guarantee there’s a lot of working going on, not just by us, but by every club to bring in other players and it’s night and day for us certainly working to strengthen this squad.

“He (Benedictus) is a leader. Everyone that’s watched a successful Raith Rovers team, and I mean that in terms of even the previous club I’ve managed, they were successful against us, they were good against us, and Kyle was the leader of that group.

“Jointly with that, he’s a proper defender, and I like that. He was that when he was a young defender at Dundee when I joined.

“I did a lot of work with him, enjoyed working with him, he enjoys working. He’s now played over 300 games, he’s got plenty of experience, and he’s what we need at this football club at the minute.

“I’ll not hide the fact that I did try and have a go a couple of times to bring him to Dundee when I was manager. That’s how much I think of Kyle Benedictus.

“I’m delighted to get him over the line, and delighted he chose to come here, because he did have another couple of options.”

McPake continued: “I hate going back and speaking about it, because it is in the past, my time at Dundee, but any time we played Raith they always did try and play out. The one we stopped it going to was Kyle Benedictus.

“Is that giving secrets away? No, because everyone knows how good he is on the ball and what he can do with the ball, but take that side of it away, he can defend as well.

“He puts his head where a lot of people wouldn’t. He makes blocks, he’s mobile, and he’s got that wee bit of everything about him in my opinion.

“He certainly fits the bill in terms of leadership and quality that we’re needing.”

When asked if he had held talks with those that left, including Dom Thomas, who joined Queen’s Park, McPake added: “I think Dom had already decided, so we wish him all the best.

“There were others that, again, budget comes into certain things, but I’ve got to stamp my own authority on this club, and try and do what I believe is best for this football club.

“It’s a hard time doing that, particularly when you’re coming in as a new manager and you’re fresh in the door, but I’ve got to stamp my authority on this football club, and Kyle’s the start of that. Long may that continue with some other quality signings, and we wish everybody that represented the football club all the best.”