Manager on FridayFriday, 4th Mar 2016
04/03/16: AJ "We will not take anything for granted. Stenhousemuir are a good team and they can pass the ball really well.
When Allan Johnston went with the same starting eleven last week against Stranraer it was the fourth week running that he had named the same starting eleven. It may be surprising if he changes things for the visit of Stenhousemuir but faced with two matches in four days there could be some deployment of his squad players. Speaking exclusively to this website the Pars manager said:-
"It would be great if we can pick up where we left off in the last game. There were a lot of positives in the last game, we took our chances, there were some great goals and some great individual performances as well.
"We will not take anything for granted. Stenhousemuir are a good team and they can pass the ball really well. They have a lot of experience in their team and looking at the last few games against against them, they have a real threat at setpieces."
The games at Stenhousemuir the margin of victory looked convincing but the last time Brown Ferguson brought his Warriors to East End Park it took a late Shaun Rooney goal to separate the teams.
"Even the last game at Stenny they started getting on the ball in the last fifteen minutes. We need to make sure that we do what we are good at; put pressure on the ball high up the pitch and try to play to our strengths which of course is on the front foot. We need to try and make them defend because we have got really good attacking players and we need to try and dominate the game."
The match against Stranraer saw Dunfermline take more of the chances that they have been generating with regularity, the manager continued:-
"We have been a wee bit unlucky with some of our chances. We maybe picked the wrong options sometimes but it all came together last week. There were some really good goals and we were delighted for Joe Cardle to get his hattrick.
"His first one he came inside and sent it into the top corner. I don't think anybody could have saved that and that is the kind of form he has shown all season."
Ayr United and Peterhead are still chasing the Pars being ten and eight points behind Dunfermline. Allan Johnston praised the title contenders for keeping up the consistency that they have shown.
"It shows you how well we have done as well. There is a good gap just now but this is a massive week for us, three important games and we are trying to get as many wins as possible.
"We are a big club, there is a lot of expectation here and the boys have dealt with that situation really well and that is why they are top of the league. They have handled the pressure really well this season and we just have to keep up the play and quality of play that we have been."
The manager was pleased that he was able to put on seventeen year old Paul Joseph (PJ) Crossan for his debut:-
"He was buzzing and it is great for him because he deserves his chance. He has been doing really well for the 20s and improving all the time. He is still a young lad and still has a lot to learn but he is definitely going in the right direction. You could see that the whole stadium was desperate for him to score.
"He was really unlucky but now it is up to him, he can't afford to stand still. He has to work even harder now and don't be happy just being a bit part player. He has to make sure that he becomes a star at some point.
"We have a young 20s squad but it is always good to see young guys like PJ getting on the squad and it gives hope when he gets on for the first team. It shows that there is a pathway to the first team."
Lewis Martin joined in training on Thursday but after players picking up knocks in last weekend's game the manager will make a late decision on his team selection to face Stenhousemuir.