THE performances of players brought into the Pars team for Tuesday’s SPFL Trust Trophy win over Celtic B have given James McPake food for thought.

And the boss says that having a greater selection headache for this weekend’s league trip to Peterhead is something he’s delighted about.

Following the weekend’s 2-2 draw with Clyde – which he believes could prove to be important, after Athletic fought back from two goals down – he made seven changes to the team to play in the cup competition.

Three 16-year-olds – Sam Young, Andrew Tod and goalscorer Taylor Sutherland – played, as did goalkeeper Max Little, making his first top-team appearance for the club, alongside the likes of Rhys Breen, Chris Hamilton, Kyle MacDonald and Nikolay Todorov.

When asked if those who were involved against the Hoops’ colts had given themselves an opportunity to be in the frame for the trip to Balmoor, McPake told Press Sport: “I love that.

“To be fair to them, they’ve done that all season.

“That’s why, at times, you’ve seen it’s been Todorov and (Craig) Wighton playing; if we’re a 4-3-3, it’s been Todorov on his own, it’s been Kevin (O’Hara) on his own, it’s been Lewis (McCann), it’s been Craig.

“You look at the football Macca (MacDonald) has played. He goes out the team, and then comes in, and he was excellent against Falkirk.

“There’s so many players in there, all of them, that you can trust, and you can pick a team and know that they’re going out to do exactly what we’ve worked on.

“Sometimes that’s enough to win you a game. Sometimes you have an off day, sometimes something happens and you lose a couple of goals; they’re human beings. It’s football.

“They’re so honest. They’re so hard-working, they’re brilliant to work with, and I love having the headache.”

Despite the weekend’s draw with the lowly Bully Wee, the Pars have won five of their last seven outings in League One and remain five points clear of both Falkirk and Montrose at the top.

They face a Blue Toon side that are bottom of the league and parted ways with long-serving manager Jim McInally midweek but who fought back from two goals behind to earn a shock draw at East End last month.

“We got in a position here against them where we were 2-0 up and we should’ve seen the game out but we didn’t,” McPake continued.

“We were 2-0 down on Saturday and we rescued a point. I think, when we look back, that point will be important, like they all are, especially when you’re 2-0 down and you can come back. Real character it shows.

“One defeat in 15 (league games), we can highlight that, we can talk about, but all focus just has to be on Saturday.

“We never take any team lightly. This is a tough, tough league, and it’s going to be another tough, tough game.

“We need to be the best Dunfermline Athletic we can be, and that’s what we plan to do.”

“Saturday, we created so many clear-cut chances and it’s only maybe when you watch it on the Sunday, with a clear head, you can go, you know what, we were actually quite good in that game.

“That’s maybe a wee takeaway from me because I was going in thinking we were terrible, and sometimes you just get that when you’re standing on the side of the pitch, and you’re clouded a wee bit with disappointment because they’ve set the bar up here.”