Nicholl shrugs off handshake row with Jefferies

Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl, pictured, and Dunfermline boss Jim Jefferies disagreed over Chris Kane's role. Picture: SNS
Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl, pictured, and Dunfermline boss Jim Jefferies disagreed over Chris Kane's role. Picture: SNS
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Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl insists he has not fallen out with Dunfermline counterpart Jim Jefferies – 
despite his handshake snub.

The two men did not exchange pleasantries at full-time after the Fife rivals fought out a 1-1 draw in Wednesday’s Championship play-off final first leg at Central Park.

Nicholl admits their disagreement centres around midfielder Chris Kane, who was an unused substitute, and his switch from East End Park to the Blue Brazil in January. Nicholl said: “It was regarding Chris Kane, a player we got from Dunfermline and there was a wee agreement that he would not play against them in the play-offs. Well, he didn’t play; I dropped him. I don’t know what the argument is.

“If he (Jefferies) wants me to put the lad off the bench and in the stand, there is no way I’m doing that. I dropped him because Chris would have been in the team. I did what he asked, he didn’t play.

“I went to shake his hand and it wasn’t there. If he’s unhappy, he’s unhappy. I spoke to Jim on Tuesday and I said: ‘I’m not going to fall out with you, if you’re saying we had that verbal agreement then fair enough’. What more does he want? I’m already up to my neck in trouble for not playing him with my chairman. We have to win two games of football, these things happen.”

Meanwhile, Dunfermline captain Andy Geggan says he and his team-mates are desperate to be part of what he believes will be the best league in Scotland.

The Pars can secure their promotion back to the second tier if they beat Cowdenbeath in the second leg at East End Park on Sunday. Geggan put Jefferies’ side in the driving seat on Wednesday, but his header was cancelled by Thomas O’Brien.

Dunfermline slipped into League One following administration but are now eager to be involved in a division that includes Rangers and Hearts next term. Geggan said: “It would mean everything to get back up, that’s what we have been playing for all season. The Championship is going to be the best league in Scotland.

“I’m just glad we’ve got the financial side sorted and we’re heading in the right direction. We need to get up there to keep the club going.”

Dunfermline expect a crowd of 8,000 on Sunday, and Geggan thinks the team will be able to revert to a style of football that suits them after difficult conditions on Wednesday. He added: “Being such a small and tight pitch, it was just a game of throw-ins. It’s going to be a completely different game on Sunday. We like to play football at home and that’s going to be our aim.”