Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 30th Nov 2017

30/11/17: AJ - "these are the games when you want your big players to step up."

Allan Johnston claimed that his players were more frustrated than anything else after being held to back to back draws at home to Morton and Dumbarton.

"Especially against Dumbarton where we expected to win that game, it should have been three points. You want to win every home game and we have a tough spell coming up. We need to make sure that we get back on track.

"It doesn`t get any harder than Dundee United away but when you look at the next two or three fixtures, they are all difficult games. Every game in this division is difficult.

"Sometimes when you go to places like Tannadice the pressure is on them as well because they are expected to attack and go out to win the game. Hopefully we can punish them as well."

The manager was aware that it was a long time since a Dunfermline side won at Tannadice, it was 2011 in the title winning season. He added:-

"It would be great to go there and put in a really good performance and get the win. They have a new manager in place and apart from last week`s blip (drawing with Brechin City) they have done quite well recently. We know that we are going to be in for a tough test because they have quality players throughout their whole team.

"It is a great game for us, these are the games when you want your big players to step up."

AJ commented on the form displayed under new manager Csaba László:-

"They are passing the ball a lot more and if you let guys like Willo Flood dictate the play they will drop back and start off the attacks from the back. They have shown good movement and pass the ball well so we know that is going to be a tough test and we are going to have to defend well.

"We need to be a threat going forward because we want to get a win. You can see in the league table that wins make massive differences. We have had too many draws of late, we need to start turning them into three points."

Expectations are high at Tannadice and the Pars manager hopes that

"The fans will start getting on their backs especially after the opening fifteen minutes if they do not manage to get a goal. We have to make sure that we start well and not sit back. I think we are better when we are on the front foot and trying to score goals."

Reminded that Fraser Fyvie scored twice in the one game already played between the teams this season, Allan Johnston said:-

"You could go through their whole team, they have a lot of good players. Guys like Scott McDonald scoring a lot of goals, Fraser is back in the team, Stanton has been scoring recently and Paul McMullan who was here before, so they have a lot of quality throughout the whole squad but I think we are more than a match for any team in this division especially when we are playing well."

Giving an update on his injured players, AJ said:-

"Aaron Splaine is out of hospital now so at least that is him on his road back. That is the way we look at it but he is going to be a long time out. The most important thing is that he has had the operation, everything went well and it is just a slow process. It is very similar to Ryan Williamson`s injury - it is going to take time.

"Andy Ryan is still struggling with his ankle but hopefully he will not be out for much longer. He is getting close and closer every day. The only positive that we can take is that it is not a serious one. This game has probably come to quick for him.

"Andy`s injury happened in training when he headed the ball and went over on his ankle. He will be back for the important games over the next couple of weeks, we will need everybody when you see the size of our squad."

Potential new signings are under consideration said Allan:-

"We are still having a look but we definitely need to strengthen in a couple of positions. We will be bringing in a couple of positions if we can get the players that are available. You are very limited at this point in the season."

Andy Ryan and Aaron Splaine`s absence leaves opportunities for others to show what they can do for the first team. Michael Paton is hoping to be one of them and the manager added:-

"Sometimes you have to be patient as you wait for your chance again. We are very short in numbers for the middle of the park. It is great when you have that option of good players coming back fit and able to play in a number of positions."

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