ATHLETIC boss James McPake has admitted that the players he has unavailable is a concern but he has reaffirmed his belief in the squad after Saturday's Hampden success.

Dunfermline travelled to Glasgow's southside to take on Queen's Park missing key players from last season's League One title success like Deniz Mehmet, Kyle Benedictus, Rhys Breen, Matty Todd and Kane Ritchie-Hosler, with Andrew Tod and Paul Allan also unavailable.

The latter two, who missed out with a calf issue and a "wee bang to his knee" respectively, are expected to be available for this Saturday's home clash with Greenock Morton as the Pars seek a second successive win following the three points gained at the national stadium.

Lewis McCann's double gave them victory in Mount Florida in a game that allowed McPake to hand new signing, Alex Jakubiak, his debut from the bench, and welcome back Craig Wighton, Sam Fisher, Harry Sharp and Ben Summers to the side after missing the SPFL Trust Trophy loss at Dundee United.

When asked by Press Sport that, whilst there has been plenty of discussion in recent weeks about those missing from the squad, and whether it was important to recognise the performances of those who have been stepping into the side, McPake replied: "Absolutely.

"When you can bring Owen Moffat and Alex Jakubiak to add, whether you're chasing a game or trying to see a game out, the quality of that, that's still a good team that we picked today.

"The players out are a concern, yeah, because you'd love to have Kyle Benedictus, Deniz Mehmet, Matty Todd, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, and Paul Allan and Andrew Tod. To have them in our squad, it would be a really, really good squad.

"At the minute, we're still a good team. We're a bit light, but they're coming back. The only time I've gone into a game a wee bit worried was Dundee United, but that's me. That was me that picked that team to protect some players, so I can't have it both ways. I can't look to pick a strong team, and then pick a weakened team, go with some kids, and expect everything to be brilliant.

"Injuries happen in football. We'll get them back and I just hope everybody's fit. I'll maybe lose sleep that night when you're having to leave five of those players out, but what a headache that is."

Victory over the Spiders continued Dunfermline's impressive form on the road, which has seen them suffer just one away defeat in the league since McPake arrived last summer.

That came 15 games ago, at Montrose last October, whilst they have lost only three matches away from KDM East End Park - at Dundee and Dundee United in the SPFL Trust Trophy, last season and this, and at Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup, and only after a penalty shoot-out - since.

McPake, jovially, mentioned that their "home record's not that bad either is it", with Raith Rovers last month the only team to inflict a league defeat at East End on his Pars side.

Their win on Saturday also ended a run of four games without a win in all competitions, and the manager continued: "It's probably the longest spell we've went not winning since we've been in at the club.

"We understand we're in a tougher league. We're under no illusions of that. Every team in this league can hurt you. That's without being disrespectful to League One but, at certain times in games, we were 2-0 down and we always felt we were the team in control.

"We're up a level; we need to concentrate really hard in every game and get everything right. Probably the game we've been best, in terms of football, was Raith Rovers, and it's the game we've lost. It just shows you that teams in this league have got a bit more quality. They can hurt you a bit more so you really need to be at it.

"It's another away win, which is great, but we want to get back to winning at home as well."