Ahead of Dundee United clash, Dunfermline still holding out hope of Championship promotion play-offs



SEAN MURDOCH insists Dunfermline can still dream of giving themselves a shot at promotion, despite not yet being safe from relegation.

The Pars eased themselves away from the dreaded drop zone in the Championship with a 1-0 Fife derby win over rivals Raith Rovers at the weekend.

It gave the East End Park men an eight-point advantage over second-bottom St Mirren and basement boys Ayr United with just five games remaining in their campaign.

Murdoch with some young Dunfermline fans on the latest stop on the SPFL Trust’s Trophy Tour at East End Park

They now travel to face Dundee United knowing victory could haul them to within six points of their struggling hosts with 12 points still to play for.

With Queen of the South still in the mix in fifth, Murdoch accepts the Fifers may have given themselves too much to do to rein in United in fourth.

But the former Hibs and Hamilton Accies keeper is adamant they will keep chasing a play-off place as long as they still have a chance.

The 30-year-old said: “It was a massive, massive game at the weekend because if we had been beaten, and results elsewhere had gone against us, we wouldn’t have been far off the bottom.

“On the flip-side of that and we won, and results went for us, then we would be looking at the play-offs.

“It’s a complete contrast.

“If we can get a win up at Tannadice then we’ll bring it down to six points with four games left.

“Then, you never know. It’s still a big ask, but you never know.

“It’s definitely doable. As long as it’s still mathematically possible then we’ll give it our all.”

Dunfermline have been beaten just twice in their last 18 league games and were only denied a Scottish Cup quarter-final berth by a penalty-kicks defeat after a replay against Hamilton Accies.

Twelve draws have cost Allan Johnston’s side the chance to put even more pressure on the top four.

But they may feel they are due a victory over United after drawing in the last meeting in January but suffering four previous defeats in the league, Irn-Bru Cup and Betfred Cup.

Murdoch added: “We’ve been on an incredible run – but we still can’t get away from that bottom pack.

“If we hadn’t gone on that run then we would have been in that mix at the bottom, so it’s all credit to the manager, and the players as well, that we’ve managed to rack up the points.

“All our games against United have been pretty tight and this is Dundee United, who have just come down from the Premiership.

“They’ve got a quality squad, full of Premiership players.

“It’s going to be a big ask but it’s definitely one we can win.”

Murdoch was speaking as the SPFL Trust’s ‘Trusted Trophy Tour’ visited Dunfermline on the latest leg of a unique project to highlight the amazing work of professional clubs in Scotland.