PARS PUT GALLACHER THROUGH MILL
The agony is physical and mental for Dunfermline goalkeeper Paul Gallacher as his team-mates battle for Clydesdale Bank Premier League survival.
The former Scotland goalkeeper is recuperating from shoulder surgery following an injury sustained in a December defeat at Hearts which has seen the Pars denied the services of a key performer.
Dunfermline travel to Paisley on Saturday to play Gallacher's former club St Mirren for a match manager Jim Jefferies has described as crucial to avoiding relegation.
Gallacher, though, can do little to help the Pars attempt to bridge the seven-point gap to 11th-placed Hibernian with five games remaining.
The 32-year-old said: "I'm not great at watching games. Not being involved is very frustrating, especially when you can't do anything to help the boys out or alter results. It's just one of those things."
Morale remains strong at Dunfermline, according to Gallacher.
He added: "The banter around the place is still good, the boys are optimistic. It's a big game on Saturday and it's one we're looking forward to.
"It's the most crucial game because it's the next game and Hibs don't play til Sunday (against Kilmarnock).
"If we get three points it puts a little bit of pressure on them. They've obviously done fairly well with a couple of results and are through to a cup final.
"We just need to focus on the job in hand and that's to get three points on Saturday first and foremost."
Gallacher's former club St Mirren were praised for their performances at the start of the season but have fallen away with one SPL win in 2012 and sit in ninth place, having won just three more games than the Pars.
"They've done well this season, but the games we've played against them were tight games," Gallacher added.
"It's a game we're going into where we think we can get three points.
"I think our cause is more vital than theirs at the minute so let's hope we can get three points.
"It's up to our boys on the day to be up for it and hopefully get three points."
Results in the final five games of the campaign will determine which division Gallacher, who has another year on his Pars contract, plays in next term.
He is targeting a pre-season return and is currently undergoing painful gym exercises to improve the range of motion in his shoulder.
"It's a long process, but we're getting there," he said.
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