Dunfermline boss Stevie Crawford has urged his squad not to let the fear factor drag them into the Ladbrokes Championship relegation fight.
The Pars sit fifth having missed out on a place in the play-offs – yet remarkably with two games to go are still not safe from the drop as the astonishing six-way scrap for survival looks set to go to the wire.
They sit six points clear of basement boys Falkirk and could yet be caught if their final two games of the season against Morton and Inverness go awry.
Crawford knows nerves will be jangling in the East End Park dressing room but has told his Pars to dig deep into their reserves of self-belief as they prepare to host Ton on Saturday.
He told his club’s official website: “There can’t be a fear, they only become frightened if that’s the culture we’re going to put to them. If they’re frightened to take the ball, how are you going to score goals?
“Collectively we have come off it a little bit, we are in a position where our destiny is in our own hands and three points would be massive at the weekend now.”
Partick Thistle took a major step towards safety in midweek when they beat Ayr at Somerset Park.
Now Jags boss Gary Caldwell will be hoping for a repeat result as they play the second leg of this week’s double-header with the Honest Men at the Energy Check Stadium.
There are tough tasks ahead for the league’s bottom two clubs.
Falkirk travel to Tannadice to face a Dundee United side who are guaranteed to finish at least second, while 11th-placed Alloa – who sit three points ahead of the Bairns but just three behind Dunfermline – face play-off contenders Inverness at the Indodrill Stadium.
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