BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Jason Talbot insists defeat to Airdrie will not shatter Dunfermline’s confidence that they can go on and clinch the League One title this season.
The Pars were flying high, on the back of a 15-game undefeated run in the league, but were brought crashing back down to earth by the 1-0 loss to the Diamonds last Friday.
The shock reverse robbed Allan Johnston’s men of the opportunity to stretch their lead at the top of the table to a commanding 10 points.
With second-placed Ayr United now seven points behind, with a game in hand, there will be a belief at Somerset Park that the title race remains very firmly in the balance.
However, Talbot, who knows just what it takes to win promotion after skippering Livingston to the Third Division and Second Division titles in successive seasons, has urged the hurting Fifers side to remain positive and now embark on another undefeated sequence that can lead them back to the Championship.
Ahead of this afternoon’s trip to face Stenhousemuir, the defender said: “I know we got beat last Friday, but we’ve still got to have the belief that we’re a great side.
“You don’t turn from a good team into a bad one just because of one loss.
“All great teams get beat at some stage, so we just have to keep our confidence and keep the momentum going as much as we can.
“It starts again against Stenhousemuir, to try and get another unbeaten run going and to try and pick up as many points as possible.
“We need to try and build that gap up again. It was nine and it’s down to seven but we need to stretch away again.
“That’s the attitude we need to have.
“Every team’s going to get beat at some point. But we have to look at it and say ‘it’s our first defeat in 16 games’.
“That’s a massive achievement for any club at any level. To go 15 games unbeaten is a proud moment for all the boys in that dressing room.
“Now, we have to set our standards as high as possible again.
“We’ve not scored in the last three games, so one team’s due a thumping and hopefully it will be Saturday.”
A solitary goal from Jamie Bain shocked Dunfermline last Friday but Talbot is confident the Pars have quickly got over the blow.
The 30-year-old former Bolton Wanderers trainee added: “Obviously we’re disappointed, because we want to win every game. That’s what we have to do, that’s how high our standards are.
“We had the weekend off to regroup and gather our thoughts, which was nice of the management team, to allow us to have that breathing space.
“We came in on Monday and training was fantastic, and Tuesday was the same. It’s been lively, there’s been a great atmosphere, so hopefully Saturday’s looking good.”