Manager on ThursdayThursday, 2nd Aug 2018
02/08/18: AJ - “We go into the game full of confidence and there is a lot of pressure on United.
Pars manager Allan Johnston has described Saturday’s meeting at Tannadice a great game to start a league campaign. He told the media on Thursday:-
“We go into the game full of confidence and there is a lot of pressure on United as well after the way they have started the season.”
The manager feels that both clubs have brought in a lot of new faces but knows that Dunfermline should just focus on themselves:-
“It is good players that they have brought in but you know what it is like when results don’t go your way. There is a lot of pressure and expectations as well.
“We need to get the result that we need, the performance that we need. We seem to be getting better and better as the season has progressed. We are a hard team to play against, look at the Dundee game where we restricted them to very few chances.
“We played Motherwell here and restricted them to very few chances. With the pace that we have got upfront we will cause any team problems.”
Players crossed on the road between Dunfermline and Dundee in the close season. Nicky Clark and Fraser Aird joined United while Mark Durnan travelled in the opposite direction. Former United player Aidan Connolly also joined Dunfermline from York City. The manager commented:-
“It is always a wee bit special when you play against boys who have been here before. I am sure that they will get a bit of stick but it is the same for Mark Durnan, that is part and parcel of football. The two boys did well for us last year so I am sure that they will get a good reception from the fans.
“It is an opportunity for us to show that we are a good team. Tannadice is always a hard place to go and I am sure that they will be fired up, desperate to turn their season around. We have got to make sure that we match that energy and spirit. Show the quality that we have got that is the reason why we have started the season so well.”
The Betfred Cup games saw the Pars win four out of four to top their group and their good form earned them seeding in last Sunday’s draw for Round Two and a pairing with Hearts. The manager said:-
“It is a great tie. Obviously I have been at Hearts as a player, Stevie Crawford and Sandy Clark have ties there. It is always good when you play them at home especially after last year. They will hopefully bring a big crowd.”
No surprise however that Allan stressed that it is the Championship that is the priority:-
“We want to be up there challenging at the top. It is going to be difficult, I don’t think that there will be any easy games. Even the teams that have been promoted look a lot stronger than last year.”
Looking at Inverness Caley Thistle, Partick Thistle and Ross County, AJ added:-
“There are a lot of teams who have been in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons are now in the Championship. They realise now that it is not an easy league to get out of. You have to be really consistent, you are playing against each other so many times you familiarise yourself with the other people.
“We have good young players who have a point to prove and hopefully we can get off to a flyer.”
Commenting upon availability the gaffer reminded us that Ryan Williamson and Kallum Higginbotham will be missing through suspension. Keeper Sean Murdoch is still out although he has started using the treadmill. Tom Beadling is not yet ready to return but he has been running again. It is hoped that Lewis Martin will have shrugged off his niggling injury.