DUNFERMLINE boss Stevie Crawford believes his side should go into Saturday’s league opener with confidence after registering three successive cup wins.

After a wait of seven months, Championship football returns when Inverness Caledonian Thistle visit East End for the first match in a shortened, 27-game season, and the Pars go into it in fine form.

Not only have they been victorious in all of their Betfred Cup, Group E games so far – the latest of which came in impressive fashion at Premiership Kilmarnock on Tuesday night – but they have yet to concede a goal.

Their 3-0 win at Rugby Park was preceded by a two-goal victory at home to Falkirk last Friday and, of the six competitive goals they’ve notched so far, four of them have been headers.

That solidity at the back and their threat from crossed balls and in the air has delighted Crawford who, while urging his new-look squad not to get carried away, wants them to take plenty of belief into the game with John Robertson’s team.

“People say don’t get carried away, and we certainly won’t, but I think I’ve got a great, honest bunch of boys in there, a great coaching staff and people that are very focused,” he told Press Sport.

“Why not go into a game with confidence? Sometimes, we’re the first to turn round and say don’t be over-confident, but you don’t want to go in with an arrogance because Inverness are a good side.

“I think Robbo’s been very shrewd in the market again. He’s good at deflecting away that he’s lost a lot of players but he’s brought in some very good players as well. It will be a tough game, a very competitive fixture and one that we’re looking forward to.

“It’s not getting carried away. We’re the first to jump on players when we’re not having clean sheets or whatever but it’s been a great mindset throughout pre-season as well. I didn’t think we gifted goals away easily and long may that continue.”

Addressing his side’s threat from set-pieces or crosses, that has yielded three goals in two games for captain Euan Murray, Crawford continued: “It’s something we thought we could improve on from last year.

“It doesn’t guarantee you goals but we scored a lot from open play last year, and it’s trying to get that balance right to unsettle teams.

“The pleasing thing for us against Kilmarnock is that, when we scored the (first) goal, we didn’t just sit on that goal; we were hungry for more.

“I thought all three goals were exceptional in terms of delivery and people attacking crosses, and it was a special finish from Fraser (Murray) for the last one from the free kick.

“What I’ve said to the boys is it’s three victories in the League Cup but it’s not just been 11 players. There will be boys disappointed when they’re taken off, there’ll be boys disappointed when they’ve not started, but I need to see that they want to play for Dunfermline.

“Sometimes, when you get taken off in a game, or you’re not starting, it tells me a lot if you want to be at a club the size of Dunfermline. There’s competition for places and I’ve got an absolute headache ahead of me for the Inverness game.”

Crawford, meanwhile, praised both his team and Kilmarnock for their professionalism on Tuesday, adding: “I’ve said that what Kilmarnock have faced over the last week, two weeks, is something that I’m sure other clubs are going to face.

“We could only concentrate on what was right for Dunfermline and I think we’ve been very professional on that side of things, but as I said to Alex (Dyer) after the game, I thought his senior players were different class in the way they applied themselves and helped the younger players.”