FORMER Hearts defender Austin McCann insists Dunfermline are ready to do battle with his old club on Saturday as he implored his team-mates to recapture the resilience shown against Hibs last month.
Hearts visit East End Park this weekend seeking to build on their 2-0 victory over Celtic prior to the two-week international break. However, McCann warned today that they face a Dunfermline team reeling from recent results.
The Fife club showed commendable spirit after going 2-0 down at home to Hibs and recovered to draw 2-2. Then they endured successive 4-0 defeats to Rangers and Aberdeen, which left McCann and his colleagues smarting throughout the last fortnight.
“I think we should have won the Hibs game and I think Hibs would agree with that,” said McCann. “Our standards have dropped so far since then but the manager believes in us. We need to try and recapture some of the form we showed against Hibs when we play Hearts.
“Hearts are one of the biggest clubs outwith the Old Firm so it’s going to be a good atmosphere. They will bring a lot of supporters with them. I’m sure the atmosphere will be the same as it was against Rangers, hopefully, we can lift ourselves more than we did that day.
“We spoke about the Aberdeen game and about how we haven’t been performing. The international break has given us a bit more time on the training ground. That doesn’t mean it’s going to click automatically on Saturday but it’s helped us work on what’s gone wrong.
“The manager has tried to keep training as high tempo as possible. It’s a big step up for us coming from the First Division and the last few games have proved how tough this league actually is. That’s just reinforced how hard we are going to have to work to get points, starting with Hearts on Saturday. We know how tough it is now and we are right up for it.” Andy Driver is expected to be included in the Hearts squad after recovering from a twisted knee.
His involvement has been minimal so far this season after long-term injury trouble, but he is now nearing full fitness.