ROSS McARTHUR has commended his coaching staff and players for their discipline on and off the park after making a flying start to the season.

The Dunfermline Athletic chairman has been buoyed by the professionalism of Stevie Crawford, the coaches and playing squad in adapting to the protocols in place and believes it's been a key factor in the way the Pars have started the campaign.

Dunfermline are unbeaten across all competitions this season and, as a result, sit at the summit of the Championship and have a Betfred Cup quarter-final tie against St Johnstone to look forward to.

Speaking to Press Sport, McArthur said: "Everyone has worked so hard.

"I don't think people realise how difficult it is to coach players at this moment in time because of all the protocols in place.

"There's guidelines in terms of social distancing and what you can and can't do on the training pitch.

"The players come to training in their kit. They have to wash their own kit and bring their own equipment.

"They have to leave immediately after training by themselves. They can't car-share as would often be the case.

"The medical team need to prepare medical questionnaires every morning and take temperatures.

"This is all before they get out onto the training pitch and before a ball is kicked.

"It's a lot of additional work that all clubs are having to face right now and it's a huge credit to Stevie and the backroom staff, and all the players, that despite all these challenges, they have remained professional and they have got on with the job.

"It's evident on the park with the results and performances."

He continued: "I keep saying to everyone that to be successful, this season, you have to be disciplined on and off the park.

"You have got to adhere to all the protocols and make sure you are doing things correctly.

"It's difficult as it's easy to become complacent and forget to follow this rule or that rule but Stevie, his coaching staff and all the players have followed the rules and have been disciplined.

"There will come a time when we will get hit by a COVID case or outbreak within the club but if we keep doing things right then we'll be minimising that risk.

"That's an important part of everything that we're doing right now.

"I'm delighted for Stevie and the coaching staff as nobody sees how hard they work behind the scenes.

"In terms of the league, as we're now in December, you think that the season is halfway through but the reality this year is that we've only played five games.

"I'm not trying to play it down but what I have learned from my time at the club is that there's always a kick in the teeth around the corner, and that's why we're all keeping our feet on the ground."