Manager on ThursdayThursday, 19th Jan 2017
19/01/17: AJ - "We know that we cannot take anything for granted,
Allan Johnston feels that the Scottish Cup tie against Alloa Athletic provides a bit of freshness that is always good. Predictably he is expecting the trip to the Indodrill Stadium to be tough:-
"You are playing against a team that is used to winning and the confidence that brings. They have a lot of good players especially going forward - Spence, Kirkpatrick, Cawley. We cannot take them for granted."
Alloa Athletic and their player/manager Jim Goodwin will no doubt be saying much the same about a Dunfermline side that will be out to win and in so doing extend their unbeaten run to ten games. Allan Johnston agreed that his team is playing well and felt that they were very unfortunate not to take all three points from the home match against St Mirren last Saturday:-
"I thought they more than justified the win at the weekend and they were gutted that we never got that. It would have put a gap between us and the rest of the teams, and puts pressure on the teams up above you.
"It was disappointing to only get the one point. We have to turn these draws into wins. It is a good run that we are on and with the squad we have got, I am sure that we will keep that momentum up."
Most recent new signing, Callum Morris, could be handed a start at Alloa, he has trained well but has not played a lot of games this season. The manager is not known to giving away much about his team selection but did suggest that there would be some changes:-
"It is not going to be the exact same team, it is a good opportunity for a couple of people to play but we don`t want to make massive changes because it is a big game for the club as well."
"We want to do well and we want to be in the next round. The Scottish Cup is a big competition, it brings a lot of exposure and it is worth a lot of money to the club as well. It is really important and we just have to deal with the pressure of being favourites and go in there and get a win."
Allan Johnston as both a player and a manager has experience of cup ties where the bigger team comes up against smaller teams. The Third Round tie against the Highland League leaders was one of those ties with the Pars progressing courtesy of a 4-3 result at Victoria Park, Buckie.
"We know that we cannot take anything for granted, it has to be the same type of performance and the same type of preparation as you would have for a normal league game.
"A lot of our players have a lot of experience and you can see the togetherness, the quality that we have got, they don`t like getting beat. I am sure that they will take that into the game at the weekend.
"They have been really lively in training, they have been really bright and everybody is desperate to play. You cannot ask for much more."
The match at Alloa will be played on AstroTurf but the gaffer says that he does not mind that.
"We have been training on Astro since November. I know it is slightly different playing a game because it is a different tempo, especially challenges. It is a good surface, it encourages you to try and pass the ball."
AJ has watched videos of Alloa playing at home and he has been to watch them. He noted:-
"They pass the ball really well. They have continued the good form that they had at the start of the season when Jack Ross was there."
The manager revealed that Farid El Alagui whose contract is up this month, has been made an extension offer and a deadline on it has been set since the club needs to move forward if the offer is not be accepted.
"He has had a bit of time to think about it and he needs to get back to us within the next couple of days with a final decision.
"We are also looking at the different options to loan out some of the younger players or ones on the fringe who have not been involved as much. The last thing we want to do though is put people to clubs who are going to strengthen round about us."
On the injury front Ben Richards-Everton is the only long term injury. There might a couple of players with niggling injuries.
"These are players that we will have to look at at the weekend to see if it is worthwhile just resting them rather than making it worse by playing them week on week."
- Preview Alloa Athletic
- Paul focused on Pars experience
- Pars back stopper`s potential
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