GREG SHIELDS was "alarmed" at the lack of allegiance in Scottish football with players happy to bounce around different clubs.

The ex-Rangers defender also outlined the Liverpool-style approach they hope will take the Pars to glory and reflected on the "lethargic" finish to last term.

The 43-year-old was, apart from a brief stop at Partick Thistle, away from the Scottish game for nine years and found big changes on his return.

Shields explained: "I was used to players that were affiliated with clubs for a long time but what I found out quickly when I came back is there's no allegiance to a club now.

"Players are happy to go from Queen of the South to Morton, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Partick or whoever, they can jump around now whereas before, it was 'I want to stay with Dunfermline because I want to play for Dunfermline'.

"Now they'll say, 'I'll play for them or they'll want me, they're in the same division but that's OK'.

"That was the biggest surprise. It was really alarming."

Shields gained a fast insight into the mind of the modern player as Dunfermline embarked on a major rebuilding exercise in the summer, with 16 players leaving and 11 new arrivals.

He said: "Stevie (Crawford) and I met every player, bar perhaps one or two, that we signed and it was good to sit in front of them and talk to them.

"Sometimes you sign players and you never get the chance to sit with them, see where they're at and what they want to do, and tell them what we're all about and see if they really want to play for us.

"It was good to be part of that but it was a tough summer."

Shields continued: "We always said we wanted to go younger, more energy and it had to be the right mix.

"We needed a few experienced players too.

"That's why I'm here. It's my job to promote the younger players and it's our job to play them.

"And the two guys, Stevie and Jason (Dair), are firm believers in that.

"You want young players to do well and move on, if we become a club that brings young boys in and moves or sells them on it becomes more attractive to other people too, other clubs, parents and agents.

"They'll want to put players to us. The players that have been here two or three years, it's kicking them on too. Can they take Dunfermline to the Premier League, can they play in the Premier League themselves?

"No-one can stand still."

The new regime had a tough start when they took over in January and it was four games before they won.

Shields recalled: "We had to get to grips with it and when we did, we shored up the defence as we were leaking goals, and it wasn't too exciting either but we won five in a row.

"We then beat Alloa 1-0 and then never won in eight games. That was the tough part. We were pushing for the play-offs and all of a sudden you're looking over your shoulder.

"I'm not saying it was downing tools but the games were lethargic and it was hard to watch and be a part of.

"We stayed up in the end. It was a good season to see the end of and an eye-opener for me."

With a younger, faster team this season, Shields outlined his thoughts on how they want the Pars to play.

He said: "From being in the USA, I'm really big on the build-up.

"We split the pitch into three zones, building from defence, middle of the pitch and then, in attack, how do we get behind them?

"Then we flip it so you're pressing the other team as they're building. So it's all pressing and building, depending on which team has the ball.

"I always think if you're a good pressing team and you win the ball higher up the pitch, you've got more bodies up there to go for goal.

"If you build up pretty quickly, players are more confident on the ball, the keeper's getting more touches, players are expressing themselves rather than just shelling the ball long and trying to win second balls all the time.

"That's something we really focus on as games are won and lost when you're building or pressing."

Asked where Dunfermline can finish, he replied: "The aim is to be as good as we possibly can be, to make this group of players better and become a good selling club by moving players on.

"If we're doing the right things that will show in our league position, if we're not it becomes tough.

"This is our club, it's a huge part of our lives and we're determined to make it work."