Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 5th Jan 2017

05/01/17: Allan Johnston feels that his team is showing signs of steady improvement but is still hungry for more wins.

He reflected on the win in Kirkcaldy on Monday:-

"It was great to win against our local rivals, we took a great crowd to the game and it is good to give them something to shout about. They have followed us to a lot of places this season without getting our just reward on some occasions, so it was great to get a result for them.

"We have had that wee bit of consistency but we know that we have a bit to go before we are the finished article. I have always said that you can see the potential that the squad has got. We started the season really badly with a lot of bad results but we have picked up momentum and we have to make sure that we keep on doing the right things, keep on driving forward and keep on getting results."

As a manager AJ confessed that you always have to have the confidence in the players that results will come. Next up are Ayr United and Allan is mindful that both games so far this season have ended all square:-

"We have had very close games but then any team in this league can beat anyone on their day. Ayr with Ian McCall at the helm will always be right up for it, fired up and desperate for a result because I don`t think they have won in ten games. They will be desperate to turn that around.

"We want to continue the good run of form that we are on, keep on getting results and try and catch the teams up above us."

The last meeting against Ayr in December was dramatic with the two missed penalties within a minute near the end of the game. Lewis Martin had been sent off early on in the second half and as a consequence Ayr scored from the penalty to make it 1-1. Terming the decision as unfair, the Pars gaffer praised his players for coming back from that and almost winning the game.

"We will work even harder to build on what we have already. We want to be challenging up near the top end of the table."

The addition of Callum Morris will improve the team and squad and add competition claimed Allan Johnston:-

"He is one who ticks all these boxes. It is hard to get people in January so we are delighted to get someone of his quality and signed so quickly. I know that he had interest from the Premier League and we are delighted that he wanted to come here.

"He had a great time here before, he had a good relationship with the fans and was successful here. He wants to get back to playing well and winning games. He sees this as a good place to come."

Callum has been involved with Northern Ireland and played 45 times for Dundee United since leaving the Pars in June 2014. He is expected to meet up with his team mates on Monday and should be in contention for the home match against St Mirren on Saturday 14th January.

The deals for John Herron and Farid El Alagui are up for review in January and Allan Johnston revealed that he has until the end of the month to make a decision.

"John Herron has a good record, we have won the majority of games when he has played, that shows you how big an influence he is on the team. Paul McMullan over the last six or seven weeks has been fantastic in the way that he has come in. He has energy, pace and is somebody who excites the crowd as well. We are trying to keep them.

"We have still to make a decision on a Farid, it comes down to other factors as well. We have up until the 23rd and Farid has an option as well where he can decide to move on. Both sides have an option so we will wait see what happens."

The squad for Saturday`s match in Ayr will be bolstered with the addition of midfielder Rhys McCabe. He took a knock on his shin but he is fine now. Defender Lewis Martin missed the match against Raith on account of a family bereavement. The gaffer continued:-

"It just shows you the quality squad that we have got when we have boys like that coming back to strengthen us. That is what competition is about, you have to keep in the team, performance levels have got to be good, you have to get results and if somebody gets into the team they have to take their opportunity as well."



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