Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 28th Jun 2018

28/06/18: AJ - “it is a build up and about making sure that you are ready come the first competitive game of the season.

Allan Johnston praised his players for working hard in training in the extremely warm conditions.

“It is coming together although we are still a few players short. We are trying to bring them in and we will bring them in, it is only a matter of time. We just need to be patient to get the right quality in.”

Just nine days after signing, Willo Flood has left to accept an offer at Bali United in Indonesia. The departure of the former Dundee United captain before he had pulled on a Pars shirt was a disappointment to Allan Johnston. He said:-

“I spoke to him before he went on holiday before he actually signed, and he said that he had a couple of offers from England and he said that there was no way that he was going to sign for another Scottish team. He would go down to England unless there was an incredible offer.

“For the last few seasons he has been trying to move abroad so he wanted that in his contract that if something came up in the next couple of weeks that he could move. He said that he had never had that chance to go abroad before but would still like to take up that opportunity if it turned up. Especially if it was a really good offer. Typical, that is what happened.

“I think it came about through someone he used to play with being over there. That is how it came about. It is a really good offer that he got, and one of those things that you could not turn down.”

The other disappointing departure this week has been that of first team coach, John Potter to Sunderland. Allan acknowledged highly thought of Potts is by everybody.

“He is a great lad, a good coach and it is another of those opportunities that don’t come around very often. Sunderland are a massive club and to go there as first team coach when it looks as though Sunderland are only going to go one way, is a great move for him. But we are all sorry to see him go.”

AJ was at Sunderland for three seasons as a player from 1997-2000 and he fully understands the potential there.

“Potts has had a couple of opportunities in the past and he has not gone but this one that he couldn’t turn down.”

Pre season training has predictably created one or two niggles that will restrict his selection options for the first pre season friendly away to East Fife on Saturday.

“We are not going to risk anybody, it is more important that they are fit for the season. You are always going to get wee things when the boys come back. Even silly things like blisters caused by the ground being so hard.”

The gaffer suggested that as in previous pre season, teams will be a mix of experienced and younger players.

“They will only play part of the game, it is a build up and about making sure that you are ready come the first competitive game of the season.

“Hopefully they can get a good bit of fitness out of it and start showing some quality. We don’t want to read too much into a pre season game especially if we are going to be mixing the teams a bit. There will be a few of those who are just in for the first time going to be involved.

“The young boys have shown great potential, they just have to keep on improving and listen to guys like Stevie (Crawford) who has played at the top level and coached at a top level. His experience will be invaluable to them.”

Stevie Crawford has come in a a temporary replacement for John Potter and the manager felt that as a top coach who knew the club, it was a “no brainier if he was willing to come in.”

Craw has been manager at East Fife, assistant manager at Hearts and MK Dons. AJ continued:-

“We are delighted to have him in and now there is a process of trying to get somebody longer term. We will just have to see how that goes.”

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