PAUL WATSON insists the Athletic players are eager to continue playing, even if it means having to come up with socially-distanced goal celebrations.

In the immediate aftermath of Friday night’s stalemate at Greenock Morton – which the defender was surprised went ahead, with the playing surface not in prime condition – it was revealed that the SPFL Championship clubs were to be asked, by the SFA, whether they wanted the season to carry on.

It comes after all football beneath the second tier was stopped until at least January 31 amid rising COVID-19 cases across the country but the second tier has been permitted to continue on the basis that clubs commit to weekly testing.

Watson and his team-mates were tested on Tuesday ahead of this Saturday’s home clash with Ayr United, with Dunfermline seeking to earn a second win in their last seven league outings, and said: “Us, as players, we’re desperate for it to continue.

“We don’t see why not; the tests have been introduced as well and the clubs have got the financial backing from the Government grants so there should be no excuses for the testing side of it.

“The chairman here especially is big on abiding by the guidelines and I think the whole staff and all the players have stuck by them really well. A lot of people want it on; I think they would miss it if it was away. It gives them something to do.

“Although they can’t get to the stadiums, it’s still good that they can tune in on the telly and watch us so we’re just hoping it continues.”

When asked if the Pars players had been working on different celebrations, the 30-year-old continued: “I think that’s a lot of nonsense to be honest.

“It’s very difficult if you score a goal. Fair enough, if it’s early on, but if it’s a last-minute winner, emotions are there. You can grab each other at corners but you’re not allowed to celebrate?

“I’ve had centre backs grab me and they’re so close to you, breathing in your ear. I don’t see the difference to when you’re celebrating.

“If that’s gong to be a new thing as well, then we’re going to have to get used to it.”

Regardless of how they can celebrate, Watson will be hoping that he and his Pars pals will be on Saturday as they continue their promotion pursuit.

While they are second in the table, they are seven points behind leaders Hearts, and he added: “We want to make East End Park a very difficult place for people to come.

“I think we’ve done that this season, and we need to just make sure we get back to winning ways on Saturday. We have drew a few more than we’d like. I think a couple of those draws have been really good; being 3-0 down at Dundee, 2-0 down at Raith.

“But like the games on Friday night, we need to be looking to win those games if you want to really challenge at the top end of the league.”