Manager on ThursdayThursday, 21st Jul 2016
21/07/16: AJ - "It is a hard place to go, the size of the pitch, the surroundings mean it is always a difficult game.
After last season`s outcomes separated Dunfermline and their closest rivals by an entire division, Central Park was not one of the locations that Allan Johnston had bargained for this season. Just to remind himself of the uniqueness of the pitch the Pars manager hot footed it from the under 20s tournament at Kelty on Saturday to watch two of his upcoming opponents Cowdenbeath and Inverness Calay Thistle meet in the Betfred Cup that afternoon. Speaking exclusively to this website at Broadwood he said:-
Watch what Allan Johnston said to Pars TV
"It is a hard place to go, the size of the pitch, the surroundings mean it is always a difficult game. The match against Inverness was a very typical game at Cowdenbeath, it was windy and the conditions weren`t great.
"It is all about attitude. We just have to make sure that we are fully focussed and make sure that we win. I did notice that Cowdenbeath have good players, even last year they had some good players like Dean Brett and they have brought in a new striker (Kris Renton) as well. They can cause you problems if you give them time."
The second match of the Pars Betfred life follows on an impressive 3-0 win over Arbroath on Tuesday night. AJ commented:-
"It was brilliant for guys like Michael Moffat to start the season off scoring a couple of goals. It gives you that bit of confidence to go on and have a good season. When you look at the highlights you can see that he was probably unlucky not to score four or five.
"There was a lot of good play especially in the second half and that is the tempo we want and when we play like that we are a hard team to play against. We controlled it in the second half and I thought big Ryan Williamson did well getting forward. Gavin (Reilly) obviously put in two good crosses for the goals and Kallum (Higginbotham) came on and gave us a spark.
"There were a lot of positives and the usual guys like Joe Cardle reminded us how he is a real handful no matter who he is playing against. He is always a goal threat, so we have a lot of options for scoring goals.
"Andy Geggan is enjoying playing further forward. He times his runs really well, he has always been good at that and it is good to see him getting on the score sheet as well, scoring goals and enjoying it."
Hot on the heels of the journey to Central Fife comes the visit of Richie Foran`s Inverness team and this will test Allan`s squad which he reminded us is not big:-
"We have not got a lot of players. We have players just coming back from injury - Michael Paton, David Hopkirk and Callum Fordyce. We did not have the full quota on the subs bench against Arbroath but we have good players and when everybody is fit we are going to have a really good squad."
The Pars manager was at Broadwood on Thursday afternoon to watch the Development squad plus Callum Fordyce take on a young Sheffield United touring team. He was pleased to see him complete 90 minutes:-
"Games are the only thing that gets you that match sharpness and ready to play in first team games. It is brilliant for him and I do not think it will be long before he is chapping on the door to get back in the first team."
Asked about player availability there were no new injuries to report.
"Everybody is desperate to play at the weekend. Players like Lewis Spence came on and made an impact so it just shows you the quality that we have on the bench when they can come on and cause teams problems."