YOU wouldn't think the mere sight of Michael O'Halloran would send shivers down the spine but James McPake admitted he was "terrified of him".

While it's tempting to imagine the wide man jumping out at the Pars boss and shouting 'Boo' it's Athletic's opponents in the Championship who should be scared.

McPake reckons the 32-year-old is getting back to his frightening best with O'Halloran capping a fine performance with the third goal against Morton.

The manager said: "He’s playing with a lot of confidence at the minute.

"Even in training, probably for the last two weeks, he’s been looking like the Michael O’Halloran we all remember, and the Michael O’Halloran I was terrified to play against.

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“I was terrified of him and he’s starting to look like that again.

Dunfermline Press: Dunfermline's Michael O'Halloran running down the wing against Morton. Dunfermline's Michael O'Halloran running down the wing against Morton. (Image: Craig Brown)

“It was a great bit of play for his goal and a great finish as well.

“I’ve been delighted with Michael, I really have. He’s been outstanding and he’s got that horrible pace that when you’re playing against it you're worried."

O'Halloran netted his first goal in two years, since scoring the opener for St Johnstone against his old team Rangers in a 2-1 home defeat on September 11, 2021, and post-match he laughed: "Are you counting?

"I’ve not played a lot of games in two years. It is always nice to score, anybody will tell you that there’s no better feeling.

"I’m just happy to play a part in the team and if we are winning and I can contribute that’s the main thing.

"We are doing that at the minute, that’s two weeks in a row we have been really good."

He continued: "It was a really good performance, especially in the first half.

"I think we should have been out of sight to be honest with the chances we created. We made it a little nervy for ourselves with them getting that goal.

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“You could see they were direct but we hung in and we ended up breaking on them to get the third which was nice to seal it.”

Given the stop-start nature of his last two years in the game, O'Halloran explained why he's ready to strike fear into opposing defences again: "It was always going to take time to get up to speed and in terms of minutes.

"I feel that in training I am getting stronger and fitter.

"Training is all good and well but you need matches. You get that match sharpness by continuously playing and I feel I’m getting that."

Dunfermline Press: Michael O'Halloran strokes the third goal into the net against Morton.Michael O'Halloran strokes the third goal into the net against Morton. (Image: Craig Brown)

McPake hailed the performance against Morton as the best since he's been at the club and, asked if he was enjoying playing in such an attacking side, O'Halloran said: "That was one of the main reasons I came in.

"Obviously it is a big club, but when I spoke to the gaffer I liked the way they play, they are young and hungry.

"You see they will pass the ball and they are very brave to get on it. It is really enjoyable to play in.

"Nobody enjoys teams that just knock it long, it can be effective but there are really good footballers in there and I’m really enjoying being part of it.”

The 3-1 win lifted Dunfermline up to fourth place but O'Halloran reckons they could easily have been higher.

He said: “We are disappointed with the points that we dropped, especially at home to Raith.

"We didn’t deserve to lose that and the Dundee United game, I think we deserved to win that as well.

"It is a good start but it’s only a start. We will push on.

“It is a highly competitive league. You saw that last year, especially when it was going into the last day it was absolute bedlam.

"I think it will be quite similar this year, there is not much between the teams.”