John Hughes tells embarrassed Dunfermline to use 5-0 Morton defeat as fuel

Dunfermline Athletic manager John Hughes has told his players to use Saturday’s 5-0 defeat by Morton as “fuel” to get out of the relegation zone in the cinch Championship.

Dunfermline manager John Hughes trudges off the Cappielow pitch.
Dunfermline manager John Hughes trudges off the Cappielow pitch.

The reversal in Greenock – Dunfermline’s worst performance of the season – allowed Dougie Imrie’s men to move above the Fifers and into eighth place, two points clear of them. The Pars have not won in their past six matches and have two huge home matches coming up against Hamilton Accies and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

“This might be the best thing that happens to us,” said Hughes, who took over from Peter Grant in November but has been unable to lift them out of the drop zone.

“Now they might realise that we are right in this dogfight. It’s up to these guys to do something about it.

“This could be the catalyst. A horrible catalyst, let’s get that straight.

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“They need to use the embarrassment of losing 5-0 as fuel. That’s the word I’ll use because it is an embarrassment. I’m embarrassed.

“We need to use that hurt and pain for next week. If we can do that, and do the fundamentals better, then we’ll be all the better for it. But it needs to happen ASAP.

“Feel the pain, it should hurt. But you cannot feel sorry for yourself.

“I’ve played with guys who were the quietest guys but as soon as you stepped on the pitch, a switch flipped. That brings out the winner in you. We need to find out what brings out the animal in you, to be a winner.”

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Despite the predicament Dunfermline find themselves in, Hughes says he has belief in the current squad.

“My biggest frustration, even on the back of a 5-0, is that I’ve got a great belief in them,” he continued.

“I see them do things on the training pitch and we need to bring it to the game on a Saturday, and we need to toughen up.”

Dunfermline’s Fife rivals Raith Rovers drew 1-1 at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and drop down to fourth, while Hamilton Accies and Partick Thistle shared four goals at the FOYS Stadium.