Manager on ThursdayThursday, 6th Apr 2017
06/04/17: Allan Johnston spoke exclusively to the website after watching the Development League match against Inverness at Kelty on Thursday afternoon.
He said that he was really pleased with his team`s performance last Saturday against Hibs.
"Playing against a top team, the boys showed a lot of character to come back, especially after losing the first goal. There was a lot of good play, the pitch still isn`t great but I thought there were a lot of good spells and a lot of good play."
The Pars boss felt that Dunfermline deserved their point from the 1-1 draw:-
"I don`t think there was much between the two teams but I don`t think either side did enough to merit winning the game. We certainly wouldn`t have deserved to lose it."
This Saturday`s Derby at home to Raith Rovers is a great game to have at this stage in the season claimed AJ.
"There are a lot of big games between now and the end of the season. You can see how tight the league is, so it is important to get a win because that would make a massive difference in terms of where we are in the league. We have a game in hand as well (Tuesday v Dundee United) so it is important that we get a result."
This will be the first time Dunfermline have come up against The Rovers since John Hughes has taken over as manager. Allan Johnston felt that they have picked up their performances and registered a couple of good results. He had sympathy for his Raith counterpart:-
"It is always difficult coming in towards the end of the season. You don`t really get a chance to make many signings so it is always going to be difficult.
"We just have to focus on ourselves. `Yogi` is a good manager, he has a lot of experience so I am sure they will be well organised and hard to beat. Hopefully with the players we have got we can cause them a lot of problems."
Last time the sides met Dunfermline took the three points away from the New Year game at Starks Park but AJ believes Saturday`s match to be another where the opposition will be hard to play against.
"We had somebody at their last couple of games. They get behind the ball really quickly, they make it hard for teams and they try and hit you on the counterattack. It is going to take a bit of patience and hopefully we have that bit of quality to try and break them down."
The gaffer is hoping for another big crowd after the 7000+ gate for the visit of Hibs.
"It was a brilliant atmosphere last week, I think that helped the players get back into the game. They stuck with the players all the way through and got right behind them. It is amazing how much of a difference that makes.
"Hopefully it is the same again because there is nothing better than playing in front of a big crowd with a good atmosphere. This time though we would like to take all three points."
Getting behind the team and being really positive is a much appreciated role for the home support:-
"A win and three points makes a big difference. Every little extra helps to drive the players on to get that win. Hopefully we can finish the season strongly" concluded the manager.
On the injury front Allan Johnston confessed that there had been a couple of players with niggling injuries that have cleared up. John Herron is suspended but would probably has missed out through an ankle injury. Ben Richards-Everton is still some way off a return but Lewis Martin has trained all week. Other than that it is believed that the manager has a full squad to select from.