Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 28th Sep 2017

28/09/17: ""They are not going to sit in, they will come and have a go"

Allan Johnston began by looking back on the 3-0 win at Brechin last Saturday.

"It was quite comfortable apart from the opening couple of minutes. They had a couple of chances but after that I thought we controlled the game and obviously scored a few goals. It was good to get the three points especially away from home. It sets us up nicely for this weekend."

This Saturday albeit at home, the opponents is expected to be a more testing tussle.

"It is against the team that was the favourites from the start of the season. All the bookmakers expected Dundee United to run away with the league. It puts a lot of pressure on them and the good thing about it that is they will come here and try and win the game.

"They are not going to sit in, they will come and have a go. That will suit the way we play as well.

"Dundee United have good players, guys like James Keatings - a top player, Scott McDonald has lots of experience so we know that we are going to have to defend really well if we have any chance of winning the game. We have been defending very well, we have not lost a lot of goals and we are still a threat going forward as you can see by he number of goals we have scored."

Depending on results elsewhere United could be top the table by teatime on Saturday should they beat the Pars. Their manager, Ray McKinnon, has said that his team got it together in an attacking sense in their last match, a home win over Morton. The Pars gaffer responded:-

"They have been taking a bit of stick but are only two points off the top. There is not much in this league, it is all about consistency and putting a run of results together that could keep you there, challenging at the top."

Dunfermline`s home form boasts a 100% record and that against a league schedule that pitched in visits from all the expected title contenders - Inverness Caley Thistle, Falkirk and St Mirren.

"It has been pleasing because last year we never managed to beat the top teams but this year we have managed to get the results. Dundee United is another test for us. We never managed to get the win that I felt we deserved sometimes last year.

"It is one that we are looking forward to and go into full of confidence but we will have to be at our very best to get a result."

Sitting top of the Championship table with a team that is scoring goals for fun and Ryan Williamson just called up at Scotland under 21 level, AJ was asked if there was a great feel good atmosphere around East End Park:-

"It is not just Ryan, Stuart Morrison has been added to Callum Smith`s inclusion in the Under 19s. Callum has been flying and it is good that some of the boys are getting a bit of recognition because they are doing well at the minute.

"It is a good league, a really competitive league but we just have to make sure that we don`t rest on our laurels. We have to make sure that we keep progressing, working as hard as what we have been to make sure that we stay up the top."

Ryan Williamson has come back from two serious injuries and his manager is delighted for him that all his incredible hard work has paid off with inclusion in another international squad.

"Anyone who knows him, knows how professional he is. Every day he does the right things. He trains and gives 100%. He works on his weaknesses and always looking to improve and listen. It is great to see guys like that getting recognition and a bit of success."

Last season Dunfermline drew one and lost five of the six meetings in league and cup against United. The Pars boss conceded that they were tight games.

"Dundee United are a good team with a lot of good players. But we have good players and are flying just now. It should make for a really good contest. Callum Morris has been there before so he will want to put in a really good performance and keep up the already high standards that he has set this season."

Hand in hand with success comes interest in his players but the Pars boss has experienced paper talk as well.

"It is great sometimes and gives you a massive lift. It does your confidence the world of good, there is nothing wrong with that. We just have to make sure that it doesn`t go to your head. We need to keep doing the things that brought you success in the first place.

"We want the team to be flying high and if they are flying high they are going to attract people to watch them."

The manager confirmed that his squad was all available with the exception of the same three injured players - Joe Cardle, Michael Paton and Jean-Yves M`Voto. He signed off saying:-

"They are getting a step closer every week so we will see how they go."

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