BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport
DUNFERMLINE manager Allan Johnston has revealed he is ‘really interested’ in snapping up trialist Farid El Alagui – if the former Hibs and Falkirk striker is fit enough.
El Alagui has trained with the Pars this week after failing in a bid to win a move to Inverness Caley Thistle.
The 30-year-old is out of contract after being freed by Hibs in the summer following two injury-ravaged seasons at Easter Road.
The French-Moroccan marksman ruptured his Achilles tendon only weeks into his first season with the capital outfit and then suffered repercussions from the surgery as well as undergoing a knee operation and enduring hamstring problems last term.
The former Dundee United and Brentford player lasted the full 90 minutes of Tuesday’s 2-1 win for the Fifers’ under-20s against St Johnstone and netted the opening goal as he tried to impress Johnston enough to win a deal.
However, the East End Park boss has confessed El Alagui’s recent injury problems remain a concern.
He said: “Farid has done fine. He’s only been in a few days but he played in the under-20s game and scored the other day.
“Obviously we’re having a look at him and we’ll see how he goes.
“He’s been out a long time injured, so it’s a big one to take a gamble, but you can see the qualities he could bring to the team when he’s fully fit.
“He’s not done a pre-season and he’s playing catch-up all the time, but if you look at the way he was playing a couple of years ago, when he was at his best, he’s a real handful.
“He should bring something different to the team as well, so he’s definitely somebody we’re really interested in.
“We’ll just need to see how it progresses and get a better look at him to make sure he’s 100 per cent fit.
“I’ve not really spoken about how long he’ll be here for. He’s come in, played the game and trained a couple of days so we can get a look at him and he can get a look at us.
“Then we can make a judgement after that.”
Meanwhile, Johnston admits Dunfermline will have their work cut out trying to recover from back-to-back defeats when they host former club Queen of the South – and on-form striker Stephen Dobbie – tomorrow.
The Doonhamers make the trip to Fife on the back of three straight wins, with former Rangers, Hibs, Swansea City and Crystal Palace marksman Dobbie netting four in those games.
Johnston, who had spells as both player and manager with the Dumfries team, added: “It’s going to be a hard game. Queen of the South are flying at the moment, especially Stephen Dobbie. He’s a top player and is a really good signing for them.
“He played there at the start of his career and I know the chairman there was always a big fan of him. I think he played a massive part in getting him back.
“But they’ve got a lot of good players, so it’s going to be a really tough test.”