Dunfermline Athletic

Manager ahead of Brechin

Thursday, 1st Sep 2016

01/09/16: AJ - "I don`t think it will take much to lift the players because they have determination to get back to winning ways.

Allan Johnston always claims that there are no easy games and the trip to Brechin on Saturday will not be easy especially after given their impressive start to the league season. Darren Dods side has won three and drawn one and no doubt will meet the Pars in the Irn-Bru Cup full of confidence. The Pars boss seemed to be hinting at changes when he said:-

"I think it is important to mix things up and give some of the other boys a chance. Results have not been good enough in the last games, I don`t think that we have been far away in terms of performance levels but there has to be competition from the other boys as well. They have to step up to the mark and try and force their way into the first team plans.

"Brechin is a hard place to go and the pressure will be on us to go and win the game because, even though they are at home, we are the bigger team. It is going to be a tough one but we just have to pick ourselves up and get back to winning ways."

The cup tie is the ideal opportunity to turn things around and AJ maintains that is just what they will do:-

"We have not been far away. There is a reason why teams like Queen of the South and Raith Rovers have been successful over the last couple of years. They have experience and know how to see through games that are maybe not going their way at times.

"I know the fans were frustrated but I think the referee thought he had taken centre stage. Everybody was frustrated with some of the decisions he made. Nothing more so than the penalty incident on Spency. It looked as though it was a challenge from the back."

The Pars obviously knows Brechin City from the four league matches last season. The Pars won four out of four but the gaffer expects to meet a changed team on Saturday at Glebe Park.

"They have lost Robert Thomson who was a massive player for them and is now doing really well at Dumbarton. There have been a lot changes and you always know it is going to be a hard game when Darren Dods puts out a team."

The coaching staff has the task of picking up the team from the disappointment of losing at home to Queen of the South, just the Pars second home league defeat since last September. Allan Johnston continued:-

"When you look at the second half last Saturday it was a great reaction. They could quite easily have gone in their shells. The first half was anywhere good enough, we seemed a wee bit nervy. After that when we started getting hold of the ball and playing at their tempo, we looked a lot better.

"I don`t think it will take much to lift the players because they have determination to get back to winning ways. Obviously Paul McMullan gave us a spark which was good to see. That is something that has been lacking, I don`t think we have had the same energy levels as we did last year.

"That is what made us a good team last year - our energy and our forward play. We need to get back to playing at that tempo."

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