ATHLETIC boss James McPake says his side won't take Arbroath lightly this afternoon despite their opponents sitting bottom of the Championship.

In-form Pars - who have won their last two matches - travel to Gayfield for their fourth and final meeting with ex-Dunfermline manager Jim McIntyre's side aiming to go fourth in the table.

Defeat for Airdrieonians - who still have a game in hand, and are one point ahead of Dunfermline - has opened the door for McPake's men to move into the final Premiership play-off slot with a victory.

With seven games to go, the Lichties are rooted to the foot of the division, nine points behind Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who sit second bottom and in the relegation play-off place, and 13 adrift of eighth-placed Queen's Park.

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It looks a tall order for the Angus side to prolong their five-year stint in the second tier but, after two draws between the sides this term, as well as a Pars win at East End in November, McPake is expecting a tough encounter regardless of league positions.

"It's going to be a tough game. It always is going up there, we know that," he said.

"The game up there (in December, which ended 1-1) was a pretty boring game earlier in the season, the one here wasn't great either, the draw (last month). That's from a Dunfermline point of view - they'll probably say the one down here was a decent enough game for them.

"We've not done it, we've not managed three victories in a row this season in the league I don't think.

"The squad is healthy. We've got a good group of players to choose from, and we'll go up and know we need to be at the levels we were at Morton if we're going to get anything out of the game.

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"Sometimes you can be top of the league and lose to someone, or you can be bottom of the league and go and beat anyone. It doesn't matter to us where Arbroath are in the league. We know it's going to be a tough game.

"They've had a great three or four years, however long its been now in the Championship, and they'll be desperate to continue that."

Pars centre back, Sam Fisher, commented: "This is the business end of the season when it really matters.

"Yeah, we are on a good run at the minute, but we want to continue that and that starts with Arbroath on Saturday.

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"They are bottom of the league but everyone knows that it is going to be a very tough game going up there, with the conditions and the pitch. They are a good team as well and I think every game that we have played against them this season so far, except the 3-0 game, but it was 0-0 at half time, has been really tough, really close games.

"We are expecting it to be a very hard game, just as every other game is in this league. We are looking forward to it and we are going to go up there for the three points."