Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 8th Nov 2018

08/11/18: AJ - “Falkirk need the points and I don’t think their fans will stand for them sitting in and hoping to get a draw.

Even though this Saturday’s opponents are bottom of the league, Pars boss Allan Johnston feels that Falkirk will be fired up for the derby to make amends for their 2-0 defeat at The Falkirk Stadium in October.

“They will be desperate to make amends after the last game. I think they are improving with a draw against Ross County. They will be difficult to play against. They have decent players and we cannot take anything for granted.

“We know how difficult a league this is, but if we want to be pushing at the top of the league, then we need to be beating teams at the bottom.

“They have not started the season well but you can still see that they have good players in their squad. I think in the last couple of weeks they have been harder to beat. They have been a wee bit unlucky, I think it was a goalkeeping error against Ayr.

“Sometimes that happens when you are down there so we just have to make sure that we keep them down there. Make sure that we get the win and improve our home form which has been a thorn in our side.

“It has just not been good enough, if we want to be challenging then we need to sort that out. Our away form has been good, we are not losing a lot of goals away from home and we are still creating chances. Our home form especially when teams come and just make it difficult, it is just about having the patience and experience to handle that situation.

“Saturday will be an open game, both teams will go for it. Falkirk need the points and I don’t think their fans will stand for them sitting in and hoping to get a draw.

“They will open up and try and have a go. It should suit us and it should make for an entertaining game as well. Both teams need to be winning.

“We took a big following to Falkirk and it is up to us to keep their fans quiet. We have to make sure that we get the goals, put the performance in. It will be hard because they are fighting for lives. They are desperate for points and they have changed their system in the last couple of weeks so they are a lot more solid.

“We have to make sure that we are patient, find that first goal and kick on from there.”

Reflecting on the win at Alloa last weekend the gaffer said:-

“The pleasing thing from my point of view was the amount of shots we had on target, the amount of times we tested the keeper. Whereas in previous games it was maybe too slow, we had the tempo up, we worked their keeper and got on better positions.

“It was good to win the game and it sets us up nicely for this weekend.”

Kallum Higginbotham returned as a second half sub and his manager said:-

“He is a good player, he picks up good positions, he is hard to pick up and with guys like that coming back it gives us a boost. We have a lot of good players in the squad and it is great when you have competition like that.”

Lewis Martin came through 90 minutes of reserve team football on Tuesday. Mark Durnan has been doing a bit of jogging, so he is getting closer and closer. It will be a couple of weeks before he starts training. AJ added:-

“Tom Beadling is still struggling, we are being really cautious with Tom until he is one hundred per cent fit. Louis Longridge is still carrying a niggle. Sean Murdoch is out longer term and will travel south again next week to see the specialist.”

The Pars manager finished with a rallying call:-

“We need the fans to get right behind the team. There is no bigger game than the big derby to get behind the team and for the boys to put in a performance to get the result and kick on at home.”

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