STEVIE CRAWFORD says he respects Callum Davidson’s decision to leave the club and confirmed he is on the lookout for a new coach.

The former St Johnstone assistant manager, 42, turned down an offer to extend his stay with the Pars into next season following his arrival in February.

Davidson, who played alongside Crawford with Scotland, was brought in to work alongside Crawford and his number two, Greg Shields, until the end of the last campaign following his departure from English Championship side Stoke City.

Having left Perth last summer to link up with newly-appointed Potters boss, and former team-mate, Gary Rowett, the pair left their roles in January after eight wins in 26 league games.

Davidson’s arrival at East End coincided with a run of five successive wins and, although the team then picked up just one point from their last eight games, finishing seventh in the Championship, Athletic’s head coach was keen to retain the former Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City defender.

However, after mulling over his future while on holiday, Davidson had decided to move on and, speaking to Press Sport this week, Crawford explained: “There’s no disappointment in it. I fully respect Callum’s decision; it was full-on when he came in and I’d like to thank him, and his family as well, because it’s maybe been a little bit unsettling for him moving down to England, then coming back.

“In respect of Callum and the situation we found ourselves in, it was right that when I did offer him the opportunity to go on to next season and work for us, he had to come to the decision to fully commit towards next season.

“When I mean fully commit, it’s nothing to do with his attitude or professionalism – I didn’t want to find myself in the situation during the season that I was going to have to look for somebody else if other opportunities came up for Callum.

“Sometimes in life, when you go away and reflect on what’s happened and where you’re at at that stage of your career, Callum will have gone away and spoken to his family and has come to the decision that he felt was right for him, his family and Dunfermline Football Club.

“I’d just like to wish him all the best and thank him sincerely for all the work that he did for this club in difficult circumstances last year.”

When asked whether he had potential replacements in mind, Crawford continued: “In respect of Callum and the commitment he showed coming in, I didn’t feel it was right to be looking further afield until Callum made the decision.

“We’re going to have to recruit and it’s something I’ll give thought to. It’s important I get the right fit for where we are at as a club and the type of players we’re going to be working with.

“I’d like it to be someone who’s got the same vision and the same beliefs but who also has their own slant and take on the game and very much one that will compliment the way me and Greg are going to try and go about our work.

“A big box for me to tick is that it’s going to be a right fit to be working with players that want to progress and, to come in and do that, it’s going to have to be somebody that is willing to put in the hours.

“It’s our responsibility to try and make every player in that squad next season better.”