RETURNING hitman Declan McManus insists he has unfinished business at East End and believes exciting times lie ahead for the club.

Shortly after it was confirmed last season's top marksman, Kevin Nisbet, had left to sign for Hibernian, the Pars announced the signing of the 25-year-old on a two-year contract.

Formerly of clubs such as Aberdeen, Greenock Morton, Raith Rovers and Fleetwood Town, McManus joined Dunfermline initially in the summer of 2017 and hit the net 13 times as they reached the Premiership play-offs.

His goal gave them the lead in the second leg, and tie overall, but after missing a chance to double his team's advantage, opponents Dundee United mounted a second half fightback to end their top-flight dream.

Following that heartbreaking night at Tannadice, McManus moved to Ross County, where he won the Championship title and the Challenge Cup, before enjoying a productive loan spell at Falkirk last season.

He hit the net 24 times for the League One Bairns and, although they were keen to keep him, he, along with fellow new boy, Kevin O'Hara, will be out to fill the goalscoring void left by Nisbet's departure.

It's a challenge he's relishing after being impressed by head coach Stevie Crawford's vision for the club and, speaking to Press Sport, he said: "It wasn't somewhere I found it easy to leave anyway but it's good to be back and I'm excited about the season ahead.

"Obviously, there's a fair few things that have changed since I was here last but I met the manager a few weeks back and had a good chat. I think the two of us liked what each other had to say and, after that, it was pretty easy once I knew the manager a wee bit more personally, listening to what he had to say and his plans, and where I fitted in.

"I spoke to the manager in January when I was on loan at Falkirk. There was a couple of weeks where Ross County were talking about wanting more of my wage paid while I was on loan, and there was kind of toing and froing between them and Falkirk, and then a few other clubs came in that were willing to pay more than Falkirk were at the time.

"I'd spoken to the manager then and I put it to him that, at the time, I didn't really want to change what was working for me, but come the end of the season, I knew I wasn't going to be back at Ross County.

"I said come the summer, I'd be very interested.

"Thankfully, he still had his interest and I think as soon as he heard I was going to be available, he got right onto me and we met. His aspirations met mine; I want to do what I did with County, I want to go all the way and get promoted, the same as when I was here before.

"That was our aspirations, and we never quite managed it, but looking from the outside in now, I think there's a stronger core in the squad, and I liked what the manager had to say with his plans."

McManus continued: "I watched from afar last season. I know a few of the boys that are already here and I think it was just a consistency thing that let the team down last year.

"That was maybe down to having so many younger boys but I think the likes of signing Whitts (Steven Whittaker) can only help the younger boys, and it will help me as well.

"I'm 25, nearly 26 now, and have played a lot of games, but his experience will help everybody. I think the manager's signed players to give it a real good blend of more experience and the youth part.

"There's a lot of experience in the Championship especially but, as we've spoken about, Whitts has been at the top of the game, so I think it's exciting times ahead for the club and us as players."