Dunfermline's Jim Jefferies happy to take point in Inverness

Joe Cardle and Austin McCann leave the field disappointed at the result
Joe Cardle and Austin McCann leave the field disappointed at the result

Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies defended his decision not to go chasing a victory at Inverness despite Hibernian heading to a win in Aberdeen.

The Pars eventually drew 0-0, but Hibs' 2-1 win means Jefferies' side are five points adrift at the foot of the table with two games remaining.

"Credit to Hibs, they got the result," said Jefferies. "But it was important that we didn't lose tonight.

"If we had, we would have probably been out of it because of goal difference."

Dunfermline must now beat Hibs at Easter Road on Monday then hope they can better their rivals' result on the final day of the season to avoid relegation from the Scottish Premier League.

The Pars are at home to Kilmarnock while it is Hibs' turn to visit Caledonian Stadium.

"That one point means they are not over the line yet," Jefferies told BBC Scotland.

"We're not relying on anyone else on Monday. We've got to go to Easter Road, get a victory and let's take it to the last game if we can.

"We know what we've got to do on Monday and, if we can go there and take it to the last game, we'll have made a great effort."

It was a game of few chances in Inverness, with Jefferies refusing to adopt a more attacking formation despite learning of Hibs' 2-0 lead at half-time.

"If we lost it, it would have been all over, so you are trying to get the balance right between making sure you are not too open and having a go," said the manager.

"We decided we just had to keep plugging away.

"We lacked that bit of quality to create the openings.

"But, for a team at the bottom, we've went three games undefeated.

"That's the first time they've had two clean sheets back-to-back this season."

Kyle Hutton and Martin Hardie had good chances in the second half, but Jefferies was happy to escape with a point.

"We have had a couple of chances, but the two best chances we have hit them well, but they are straight at the goalkeeper," added the manager.

"But I've got to be honest and say that Inverness had a lot of efforts in and around our box."