Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 2nd Nov 2017

02/11/17: Allan Johnston admitted that the outcome of last weekend`s journey to Inverness was not what he was looking for.

"We were hoping to go up there and get a result. That is gone now and we have to make sure that we are fully focused on the next game against Falkirk. We know the rivalry and it is a big club for both clubs.

"When it comes to derbies form goes out the window sometime. We just have to make sure that we approach it one hundred per cent focused. We are going to have to battle, make sure that side of the game but get the ball down and play as well."

Every match is different and for Saturday`s game at the Falkirk Stadium and all connected with Dunfermline hope that is the case. The Pars were without players away on international duty and the Irn Bru Cup tie at the start of October ended up in a 2-0 defeat.

That match was Alex Smith`s final match in temporary charge of Falkirk. Manager in waiting, Paul Hartley watched on from the stand that day but he will want to make his mark in this one, claimed Allan Johnston:-

"I am sure that Paul will want to set down a marker in his first game as manager against Dunfermline, he will be desperate to get a result. But we are desperate to get a result as well. We will have a big following there and we have to make sure that we don`t let anybody down by going there and putting in a performance to get the three points.

It is a big game for the fans and the gaffer is well aware of what it means to them:-

"When I first came to the club that was one of the things I noticed. There is such a big rivalry that both clubs are desperate to outdo each other. It is Falkirk who have had the upper hand over the last couple of years. It is important that we turn it around this year, get the results and performances against them to kick on."

The manager has good memories of playing in derbies himself - in the Edinburgh derby, for Rangers in an Old Firm match, in North East derbies for Sunderland against Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, and for Middlesbrough against the other two, for Bolton in a Lancashire derby v Blackburn Rovers, and for Wednesday in a Sheffield derby. He continued:-

"They are games with great atmospheres. As a player those are the games that you want to play in. I scored a couple for Hearts against Hibs and it is a great feeling and we will be hoping to send a lot of our fans home happy if we get a result.

"It wasn`t good enough at the weekend, we know that, we let ourselves down. I thought the game was a wee bit scrappy and you need to do the ugly side of the game as well - you have to win your battles. You have to outwork the guy you are playing against. It was maybe just a wake up call to make sure that we get back to the standards we set earlier.

"It is hard to reach the top level in every game. You are not always going to play really well. Against Livingston we played well but when you drop below your standards you have to work incredibly hard for each other. Especially when you are in one of your better games.

"Since the beginning of the season, the results have been good, performances have been good - we have just got to make sure that we continue."

The manager reported that there were no injuries from Saturday. "Everybody is fit, everybody wants to play in the big games which is good. You look for a reaction to bounce back from the defeat the other day. It is important to go there, full of confidence and get the goals we need."

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