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Golf course's loss could be Pars' and Jefferies' gain

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Jim Spence | 21:17 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Jim Jefferies' powers as a miracle worker are about to be put to the test as new manager of Dunfermline Athletic when he is confirmed in the post on Wednesday.

JJ has eight games to save the Pars from relegation. No pressure there then?

Dunfermline, who parted company with boss Jim McIntyre last weekend, are without a home win this season.

Demotion could prove a financial catastrophe at East End Park.

With a home game against St Mirren at East End Park on Saturday and sitting four points behind 11th-placed Hibernian, Jefferies must energise and organise a team who have gone eight games without a win and seem bereft of belief and confidence.

That will be no easy task, but the man who won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 1998 has experience by the bucket-load.

At Falkirk, Jefferies won promotion from the First Division as well as lifting the Challenge Cup.

At Kilmarnock, he guided the Rugby Park side to a runners-up spot in the League Cup in season 2006-07.

There is little point in debating whether the Dunfermline board should have parted company with Jim McIntyre sooner, or given him the opportunity to steer the club to safety.

Dunfermline are where they are and, given that they wanted experience this time around, the appointment of Jefferies looks like a good fit.

An air of calm and organisation is needed around the Halbeath Road in these potentially dangerous times for the club. A clear mind and precise plan of action is required.

I would be astonished if, in his meetings with the board, Jefferies has not outlined various plans for the future of the club.

The possibilities of escaping relegation are slim, with a straight dogfight between Dunfermline and Hibernian looking likely.

So scenarios for both relegation and rebuilding, and remaining in the Scottish Premier League and rebuilding, will probably have been discussed.

The club has potential but also faces problems in terms of low crowds and a battle to keep finances on an even keel.

At a time like this, experience could make all the difference to the club's prospects.

A few weeks ago, Jefferies told me he'd been busy reducing his golf handicap.

He has had sufficient time to do that while out of work since leaving Hearts last year after his second spell in charge.

Now it's time for him to return to doing what he does best. The golf course's loss might be Dunfermline's gain.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    For Dunfermline to stay up it would take a monumental effort from them and for Hibs to continue their poor run of form. Four points isn't a massive gap and that can be reduced with a good performance from the Pars against the Buddies whilst Hibs face Dundee Utd, argueably a harder fixture. Although it's only 8 games it is still a long way to go and anything could happen.
    On the flipside if Dunfermline do put together a good string of results and Hibs end up going down that could prove catastrophic for a club who should be in the top six.
    In my opinion we need bigger leagues, 16-18 teams, which would allow clubs to flourish and prosper on promotion, not live in financial fear that they're new status may be short lived. On top of that, for the paying public, it would make the relegation battle much more interesting if there were two teams for the drop along with play offs. With Celtic and Rangers (under normal circumstances) dominating the top end of the table, a bigger league with with playoffs would attract far more interest from the Scottish viewing public down at the bottom end of the league.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hardly the most inspiring appointment but I guess the Pars had to try something because it looked like they were just meekly slipping back towards Division One.
    A first home win of the season on Saturday would make things interesting.
    Hibs look like a team that could crumble under pressure.

  • Comment number 3.

    Based on statto.com its clear that 4 points from safety is not impossible for SPL teams. certainly Big Jim Leishman created a miracle years back by winning three ina row, and relegating Dundee when the PARS looked down and out.
    We read about spats at Hibs training ground, and with Dunfermline's Saturday opponents, St Mirren losing their form, this could be excellent timing for Jeffries and his recue mission. Come on Ye PARS!

  • Comment number 4.

    Lets face it , Pars go back down, it's a good try. Hibs go down it's close to Rangers in administration. It would be a shock-wave, no OF games, no burger derby, how would the SPL sell itself.

    Jim as posted a report on a possible revolt, or uprising of the 10, Rangers in trouble, Celtic trying to fight them off, that should be worthy of a blog. But NO, a total restructuring of the Scottish game, not interesting - lets concentrate on personalities. BBC is looking down market now, real issues - forget em. We need celebrity this or celebrity that.

 

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