Dunfermline hero Faissal El Bakhtaoui ‘destined for top ‘

Faissal El Bakhtaoui celebrates with his team mates as he makes it 1-1'. Picture: Craig Brown | sportPix.org.uk
Faissal El Bakhtaoui celebrates with his team mates as he makes it 1-1'. Picture: Craig Brown | sportPix.org.uk
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Dunfermline forward Michael Moffat reckons strike partner Faissal El Bakhtaoui is destined for the top, but hopes he hangs around to help the Pars achieve promotion first.

The French-Moroccan enhanced his growing reputation after tormenting Ross County in Saturday’s 2-2 Scottish Cup draw. El Bakhtaoui scored a superb solo effort, taking his tally for the campaign to 19, and also hit the post and the crossbar.

League One leaders Dunfermline will look to the 23-year-old for inspiration in tonight’s fourth-round replay in Dingwall and Moffat is 
praying the club can retain the marksman beyond the January transfer window.

He said: “It’s great playing up beside him. He’s got that bit of magic that he can produce, like we saw on Saturday for his goal. There didn’t appear to be too much on when he got the ball, but he cut inside, beats a couple of players and sticks it in the net. He hit the post and the bar as well.

“When you’re playing against these teams, you’re putting yourself in the shop window and you want to do as well as you can in the cup. It will be difficult to keep hold of him if he keeps playing the way he is. He can go to the top. He’s still young and he’s learning, and you have to bear in mind that he’s only been playing 11-a-side football for a few years.

“He’s only going to get better and better, but I hope the club can keep hold of him. You need to keep your best players if you want to get out of this league.”

Allan Johnston’s side have scored 52 goals in 20 league matches this season and Moffat insists there is no chance of Dunfermline adopting a cautious approach tonight. He added: “We’ll have a go because that’s the only way we can play. With the players that we’ve got, we’re always going to be a threat going forward. We’re going to attack all season, even with the Premiership teams we’ve played. We’ve beaten Dundee and taken Dundee United to extra time.

“That’s the only way we know how to play, to go forward and, hopefully, we can do enough. It’s great as a striker because you know you’re going to get plenty of chances.”

County have won seven out of their 11 Premiership matches at Victoria Park this term, but Dunfermline manager Johnston insists his team are confident of taking a cup scalp.

He said: “After not getting the win in the first game, people are probably writing us off now because Ross County have a really good home record. But we’ll cause teams problems with the quality we’ve got. We’re always liable to score goals.”