New Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies insists belief is crucial to their hopes of retaining their Clydesdale Bank Premier League status this season.
The 61-year-old was unveiled as the new Pars boss yesterday and has eight games to rescue the Fife club from relegation.
Dunfermline have spent most of the season languishing at the wrong end of the table and Jefferies believes changing the mindset of the players he has inherited is his first task ahead of Saturday’s clash with St Mirren. He said: “That’s one of the reasons I’ve been given the job, the experience I’ve got in dealing with players. It’s about making them believe that they can stay up. Talking to them, they seem a decent bunch.
“It’s major cup finals they’ve got between now and the end of the season. They are playing for themselves and for their own futures. That’s football but we will help them all we can and try to give them the confidence to do that.”
Bottom side Dunfermline are four points adrift of nearest rivals Hibs and Jefferies added: “I know it’s going to be tough. But I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t think there was a chance. It would have been pretty pointless. Things can change very quickly. There are enough games and enough points.”
Dunfermline moved quickly to appoint Jefferies, who will keep Gerry McCabe as his number two, following the sacking of Jim McIntyre last Friday. Jefferies said: “It’s funny, I met Jim McIntyre and Gerry at the Hearts-St Mirren match and we were chatting at half-time. Obviously we had no indication that this was going to happen.
“I’ve not spoken to him since but I think he did a terrific job in his time here and the players all enjoyed working for him and they feel they let him down.
“Jim will learn from this experience. He is a cracking young manager and a great bloke.”