BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Jason Talbot has seen at close hand Gary Bollan’s managerial skills after winning the league twice in the space of 12 months under Forfar Athletic’s new boss.
But the Dunfermline defender is determined his old ‘gaffer’ will not hamper Dunfermline’s title aspirations this afternoon.
Talbot worked with Bollan at Livingston when the West Lothian outfit bounced back from the punishment of demotion to the Third Division by scooping back-to-back promotions in 2010 and 2011.
That spell together ensures the full-back has a good idea of the changes Forfar’s new manager will try and implement when the teams face each other at Station Park this afternoon.
However, the 30-year-old is confident the Fifers can get the win they desperately crave to at least maintain their six-point advantage over Ayr United at the top of the table.
Talbot said: “When I was at Livingston, he got us into good shape. When we were in the Third and Second Division, we were the fittest team in that league.
“It doesn’t matter whether we were full-time or not, we were the fittest team and we ran away with both the leagues.
“He knows what it takes to win this division and win promotion, and he’ll be trying to do that with his new club.
“He played at a high level and I’m sure he wants to manage at a high level.
“But it’s about what we do and the main thing is we get three points.
“I’m not sure what kind of difference he’ll have been able to make in a week with just a couple of training sessions, to be honest.
“It’s going to be pretty much the same team we’ve already played and who we’ve beaten 4-0, 4-0 and 3-0 so far this season.
“We’ve not conceded a goal on Astro-turf this season either, so touch wood we can do the business and keep that going as well.”
Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston gave his squad a welcome Christmas present when he gave them yesterday off, rather than have them in for training as usual the day before a match.
And Talbot is hopeful the Pars can gift-wrap the three points as a ‘thank you’ for the festive gesture.
He added: “We appreciate the gaffer giving us Christmas Day off. It’s down to trust at the end of the day and it’s about everyone looking after themselves.
“But in today’s climate people tend to keep fit, not matter what time of the year it is and hopefully we repay him by going up to Forfar and doing well.
“Just because we’ve opened up a six-point gap doesn’t mean we can afford to take it easy.
“Hopefully if we can extend our unbeaten run by keeping winning games then the teams below us will end up dropping away.”