Jim McIntyre admits new recruits are essential

DUNFERMLINE manager Jim McIntyre has warned his players their immediate futures are on the line.The Pars’ bright start to the season is now a distant memory as they travel to Motherwell bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The First Division champions took eight points from their first four games back in the top flight but they have since won just six points from a possible 45. A lengthy injury list hasn’t helped but, even with Jason Thomson and Paddy Boyle available again after injury on Saturday, Dunfermline slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to St Johnstone.

Goalkeeper Chris Smith followed many of his team-mates in gifting teams goals as he made his first start of the season in place of the injured Paul Gallacher, who remains sidelined tonight. Smith punched a corner into the net and spilled a shot to allow Francisco Sandaza to net the second.

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McIntyre is now looking to change the formula to prevent his side being cast adrift, although they remain locked on 14 points with Hibernian. “It’s clearly more than hard work on the training ground (that’s needed),” McIntyre said. “We need to get some bodies in and, hopefully, that will happen in January. I have not got a figure in terms of what I have to spend. The board are trying hard to raise funds in difficult times so they have to be applauded for that. I will just keep working behind the scenes and look for players who can strengthen us.

“But there is no doubt we will need to add to the squad. I believe in the group of players that we have got but, when you keep making the same mistakes, and if you don’t learn, then it’s time to move on.”

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall admits the weather could dictate his team selection tonight. With weather warnings issued for strong winds, McCall has some tactical alterations in mind for the Fir Park clash. “I was at Albion Rovers yesterday and the wind just spoiled any chance of having a decent game of football,” McCall said.

“The bottom line is you have just got to do whatever it takes to get three points. I won’t name the side until before the kick-off. Normally I would have done it today but I’ll see what the conditions hold for us and the way to go about playing not only Dunfermline but the conditions.”

Motherwell are looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat by Hearts on Christmas Eve, only their second SPL reverse against a team from outside the Old Firm. “Four or five of the lads came in and straight away held their hands up,” McCall said. “It was like ‘I’m Spartacus’. They said ‘I was terrible today, I hold my hands up, I’m sorry’. So they are conscientious lads. We’re not lying down and accepting it but we can’t always be at our best. If we had players at their best all the time, they wouldn’t be at Motherwell.”

McCall names an unchanged squad tonight, with Steve Jennings still suspended. Estonian striker Henrik Ojamaa is expected to return to Fir Park in the next week with a view to tying up a contract following his initial trial period last month.