Gallacher’s desperate to make an impact at the Pars
DAVID CUFFLEY No one was cheering louder than Paul Gallacher at the weekend when Scotland chalked up a vital Euro 2008 qualifying victory - but the exiled Norwich City goalkeeper has more immediate targets than trying to revive his international career.
No one was cheering louder than Paul Gallacher at the weekend when Scotland chalked up a vital Euro 2008 qualifying victory - but the exiled Norwich City goalkeeper has more immediate targets than trying to revive his international career.
Gallacher, with three full matches under his belt for Dunfermline since joining the Scottish Division One club on loan, was able to spend a free Saturday watching the national team beat Lithuania 3-1 in a crucial Group B qualifier.
“It was a great result for the boys and everyone is looking forward to the game against France,” he said. “I watched the Lithuania game on TV it gave the whole country a lift and we have a great chance of qualifying. Everyone will be right behind them on Wednesday night.”
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Gallacher would dearly love to add to his eight full international caps. Three younger 'keepers currently take preference for manager Alex McLeish, including, of course, City's summer signing, David Marshall.
Marshall is 22, current first choice Craig Gordon 24 and Allan McGregor 25, but Gallacher is hardly a veteran at 28.
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He said: “It's in the back of my mind that I'd like to get back in that set-up but there are a lot of young 'keepers doing well with Craig, Marsh and Allan McGregor, so the first team future is in safe hands, if you'll excuse the pun.
“I don't think it matters whether you are in Scotland or England. If you're playing well, week in, week out, there is a chance you will get in the squad. I've just got to keep working hard. You never say never.
“But first and foremost I want to play regular first team games. I've got to grasp my chance at Dunfermline with both hands and at the end of the season you never know what's going to happen.”
Gallacher has conceded just two goals in his three outings for Dunfermline, one of those a penalty.
A 2-1 home win over Stirling was followed by a 1-0 defeat by Swedish side BK Hacken in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round in Gothenburg - putting Dunfermline out 2-1 on aggregate - and a goalless draw at home to St Johnstone.
The UEFA Cup gave the club their first taste of European football for 37 years, and it was a big disappointment to go out so early.
Said Gallacher: “I played in Europe, which was another plus, but looking at the game, we should have won.
“I had nothing to do. It was such a quiet game but they took their only chance - they had one shot and scored.
“Poor finishing cost us, primarily. We had so many chances for a large period of the game but they got theirs and took their chance and we knew we had an uphill task after that.”
With Dunfermline goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie unavailable through injury, Gallacher has the chance to stake his claim.
“We are down to the bare bones, experience wise. I've had three games and it's great to be in a competitive situation again,” he said.
“There's a lot of pressure on us to go back up this season. We won the first game I played, then drew against St Johnstone. It was a tough game. We were on top, but they had a chance at the death to pick up the points.
“I know most of the boys so I've quickly settled in. I'm just taking one game at a time and I'm here until January.”
Next Saturday's Scottish Division one fixture takes the former Dundee United 'keeper back to familiar territory and he expects a hot reception.
“We'll be playing at Dundee against my old rivals. I hope they give me a bit of stick as well - that will help me settle! It's a big game and I hope we can go to Dens Park and get three points,” he said.
“There were a lot of great derby games. They're a good outfit and it adds a bit of spice to it for me.”