BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Michael Paton saw what it took to win League One two years ago with Queen of the South and believes Dunfermline have what it takes to copy that success.
The trouble is, the Pars winger fears today’s opponents Ayr United are displaying the same qualities needed for a title push.
Paton joined Queens in February 2013, in time to help the Doonhamers clinch the championship under manager Allan Johnston and assistant Sandy Clark.
With Johnston and Clark back together at Dunfermline, Paton is convinced the pair can now lead the Pars back to the Championship by repeating the formula that worked so well in Dumfries.
The former Aberdeen forward said: “I was with the manager and Sandy before at Queens and they brought that togetherness, a big team spirit.
“The boys worked really hard to get to where they were and by working really hard a lot of luck came with it as well.
“You can see that forming in this Dunfermline team as well.
“We’ve got a good bunch of boys. There’s a lot of quality on the bench as well, waiting for a chance to get into the team, and that shows how strong we really are.
“I came in quite late that season when Queens won the league because I was injured but I had been around the club for a while and just by being about the boys it was uplifting.
“There was a good team spirit and the boys were always organised and knew their jobs, and that showed on the park as well.”
Paton insists Dunfermline will travel with burgeoning confidence today as they head for Ayr for the second time in two weeks.
A fortnight ago, the Fifers ended their hosts’ 12-match unbeaten run in all competitions with a 1-0 win in the Scottish Cup.
But the Honest Men have still not been beaten in 14 matches in the league, stretching back to the opening day of the season, and plundered a 2-0 victory from their trip to East End Park in September.
Dunfermline do enjoy top spot in the table going into the game, but only by goal difference, whilst United also have a game in hand, and Paton acknowledges the Pars have a huge fight on their hands for promotion this term.
The 26-year-old added: “Ayr seem to pick up points no matter how they’re playing. I’ve spoken to a few boys who have played (against Ayr) down there and they said they’re scoring and keeping themselves in the games.
“These are the things that happen with the teams that get promotion and end up winning leagues – they carry that wee bit of luck with themselves in games.
“But the boys have put down a marker with the cup win. We realised when they came up there that they were a good side and they proved that in the run they had after that.
“The cup win will give us confidence, though, and we continued that form onto the Brechin game, which kept our spirits up, so we’re going down there with a lot of confidence.
“We’ll be ready to go, and hopefully get the three points we need.”