JAMES MCPAKE has admitted that his Dunfermline side are in a relegation battle - but is confident that they will survive.

The Pars manager has said he has confidence in his players to make sure they preserve their Championship status after watching them drop to second bottom of the table on Saturday.

Queen's Park, who had occupied that position ahead of their trip to KDM Group East End Park on Saturday, leapt up to sixth thanks to a 3-0 victory, with Athletic, who had started the day eighth, dropping one place.

McPake's side are now winless in eight matches and face a crunch clash with bottom side Arbroath - the last team they defeated at home, in late November - this weekend.

They are six points ahead of Jim McIntyre's Lichties, and are behind Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who have played a game more, on goal difference.

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Following their loss to the Spiders, which came seven days after a five-goal thumping by Greenock Morton, McPake said: "We’re in a relegation battle for the rest of the season.

"We can forget play-offs, we can forget everything. We need to concentrate on winning a game.

"With the confidence I’ve got in that group and what we’re trying to do, and the staff around it, we’ll not get relegated from this league."

Following the game, the Pars manager revealed that the club were "in the process of trying to add a couple of experienced bodies" to the squad.

"We almost had someone in this morning. We were hoping to have someone in, which wouldn’t have helped today," he added.

"But we’re working very hard on it. We have been. We’ve spoken about this loan window and when the Premiership teams decide they can let players go.

"We’re working hard on it."

Queen's Park head coach, Callum Davidson, was delighted with his side's efforts, but believes Dunfermline will be a completely different proposition when they next meet in April.

"First of all, delighted to get three points, at a really tough place to come," the former St Johnstone boss and one-time Pars coach said.

"Dunfermline have got a lot of injuries just now so it was really important that we tried to capitalise on that. They've got a lot of experienced, good players out, so they're going through a tougher time with that. I've been there as a manager myself, so next time we play Dunfermline, it'll be a different team.

"They'll have players back so, first and foremost, just delighted to come here and get three points.

"I thought we played really well. I think it's probably the best performance we've had since I've been here, overall, and we kept going right to the end. I was really pleased with that.

"It's nice to move up the table but I don't really look at the table because, if I lose one game, I could be back down where I am.

"I think it's just about trying to get points and make the players believe in what we're trying to do here."