Manager on ThursdayThursday, 8th Oct 2015
08/10/15: AJ :-"We have to start really positive and get our fans backing us."
Allan Johnston wants to win every competition and the Petrofac Training Cup is no different from any other when it comes to seeking silverware. With Dunfermline's Quarter final opponents being a team who played in the SPL last season the Pars boss also feels that this a match to be enjoyed.
"It is another step towards the final and the best way is to go out there and get a result. Look at the way the boys performed against Premier League opposition. Beating Dundee was really hard work, the first 90 minutes of the Dundee United game we had the chances to win the game.
"We took a lot of positives from that but that means nothing come Saturday if we don't go on and put on a performance. We know that St Mirren will be desperate to get a result and get back on track.
"Similar to us, they have a lot of new players in their team and maybe some of them are still finding their feet. It is quality players that he has brought in so we know how tough a task it is going to be."
The Paisley side has not enjoyed much success at home this season, the first round of this cup bringing their sole home victory and Allan Johnston feels that his side have a chance:-
"With the way that we are scoring goals and if we can get that first goal that could work in our favour and turn the crowd against them. We have to start really positive and get our fans backing us."
Accepting that the performance may have to be stepped up from the last match against Albion Rovers last weekend AJ added:-
"You are not always going to play brilliantly, even the best teams in the world and the best players in the world do not play great every week. It is important when you don't play to your best that you win the game.
"In the Ayr United and Peterhead games we did a lot better and lost them. We have still got to make sure that we win as many games as possible between now and the rest of the season."
Scoring goals is vitally important. Dunfermline scored 30 goals in the opening nine league games and have not been shy in cup games either. The 16 cup goals mean that the team has already matched the number of goals scored in last season's full programme of 36 league games. The manager is justifiably delighted with the strength in depth of his strike force.
"Faissal (El Bakhtaoui)'s goal was class. The finish was unbelievable but we also have players like Joe Cardle who can produce moments of magic with his unbelievable skills. If that had been a Premier League goal that would have been shown I don't know how many times. The class of the goal, he scored from nothing with a great bit of skill.
"He is a goal threat and desperate to do well. When we spoke to him in the summer he was desperate to come back and keen to get his career back on track. I think he is doing that. He has a good relationship here with the fans so he was looking forward to coming back because he enjoys it here."
Championship opposition might play the kind of game that will suit Allan Johnston's side but he dismisses any speculation over style:-
"It is difficult to tell how they will approach the game after a couple of dodgy results but they have good players and we are going to have to be at our best again. Guys like Steven Thomson have a lot of experience, he has scored a lot of goals throughout his career. They have brought in some loan players as well. Obviously we know their strengths and weaknesses but we need to concentrate on our own game."
The St Mirren team with Jamie Langfield in goals behind Andy Webster and Jim Goodwin have a solid look and then there is Stewart Carswell who played in the top flight last season with Motherwell. The Pars gaffer feels that the break for the Petrofac Training Cup affords the Saints players the opportunity to go out and prove themselves.
"The league pressure will be off them and they will be fresh. No matter how you play you want to win. We are trying to instil that here and get used to winning."
On the availability from Lewis Martin is still struggling after a car accident a week past Monday. Lewis Spence has now played two Development League games so could be included leaving just the long term injured Callum Fordyce and Ryan Williamson out.