John Hughes hopes to bring 'gold dust' to Dunfermline after replacing Peter Grant

John Hughes has been appointed new manager at Dunfermline Athletic, replacing Peter Grant.

John Hughes is the new manager of Dunfermline Athletic. Picture: Michael Gillen.
John Hughes is the new manager of Dunfermline Athletic. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Hughes has signed an 18-month contract at East End Park, taking his tenure to the summer of 2023 and will work alongside the remaining backroom team of Steven Whittaker and Greg Shields in Fife.

The veteran manager, nicknamed Yogi, has a lengthy managerial background including Hibs and Ross County in the Scottish top flight – but has also had spells in charge of both the Pars’ fiercest rivals, Falkirk and Raith Rovers.

He said he was “excited and delighted” to be taking over “an iconic club” but insisted he held no allegiance to his former clubs.

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After targeting an overhaul of Fife neighbours and Championship rivals Raith, he added: “Everyone associates me with Falkirk and I had a wonderful time there, but I make no qualms, I am now the manager of Dunfermline and any time we play Falkirk there’s only one team I want to win – and that’s my commitment. As soon as I do commit to something, I’m 24/7 and I’m all in. It doesn’t guarantee we’ll win but that's my message.”

Hughes also led Inverness Caledonian Thistle to the 2015 Scottish Cup. He will take his new side to the Highlands this weekend to begin his latest career chapter against one of his many former clubs.

The 57-year-old was the unanimous choice of the Pars’ board to replace his former Celtic team-mate Grant, with the Pars still winless after 13 league fixtures.

Two candidates in particular stood out during their search, the club revealed, and impressed at interview before they settled on the former defender who admitted he quizzed the board over their ambitions while they interviewed him.

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"The process was very intense and demanding. For all my experience in football I was a little apprehensive, but this club is a sleeping giant. Someone will take it to where it rightly deserves.

"I could see the enthusiasm and passion the guys have for Dunfermline and I knew I wanted to be part of that. I’m very lucky and fortunate and hopefully I can get the magic wand working and the gold dust, hopefully we can start getting clean sheets and winning games and get up the league short-term.”

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