Manager on ThursdayThursday, 17th Dec 2015
17/12/16: good news from Allan Johnston about Joe Cardle and Ryan Williamson.
Allan Johnston was still buoyed by what he termed a "brilliant" result at Ayr last Saturday:-
"It was important to go there, especially after winning in the cup, and get a result since they had an advantage in the league. Although we made it hard for ourselves, I thought that it was a really good team performance. When we went down to ten men it showed how hard we are to break down and obviously it was a really good goal we scored on the counterattack."
When referee Andrew Dallas decided to send off Joe Cardle early in the second half that could have had a serious effect on the outcome of the match but the performance made sure that was not to cause the Pars to lose the chance of collecting three points. The consequences of a suspension for this Saturday's match against Stenhousemuir have now been extinguished with a successful appeal.
The manager explained:-
"We appealed it and it has been rescinded today. That is great news for us and great news for Joe as well because Joe is not that kind of player. It was difficult for the referee, I don't think he was in a great position to see, there were bodies in the way and he could hardly see Murphy moving his arm so that is why it has been rescinded.
"We are delighted because Joe could have been out for a wee while with his bookings and sending off. It is great to have him available."
The next game is always the most important and the Pars gaffer was totally in agreement:-
"This game becomes even more important when you beat teams like Ayr United - two really good results. We have just got to make sure that the next few results are really positive with good performances. If we keep playing the way that we have been playing, keep the tempo up and keep winning games."
The prospect of a 5-0 score line like that in the first game against Stenhousemuir was ruled out by Allan Johnston:-
"If you look at their record recently, if you take away the cup games against East Kilbride - that result was obviously disappointing for them - their recent league results are good. It was only last month that their manager got the Manager of the Month award so that shows you how well they have been doing."
Andy Geggan was back in training on Thursday so that is a major bonus to have someone described as a "big player" by his boss, back in contention.
"The big news for us today was Ryan Williamson running for the first time since his injury. That is fantastic, we are all delighted because he has worked really hard in the gym. It is still going to be a slow process to build it up but obviously that is a massive step in the right direction.
"He is just jogging but it is a milestone when you are recovering from a long term injury - the first day you start jogging - but there is still a long way to go. We are all delighted that he is at this stage already. It is probably earlier than what I thought possible. We are quite lucky by the way he has healed so far.
"We just have to be really careful with him. It is the same with Callum Fordyce; be really cautious, take our time and make sure everything is right."
The manager is pleased that apart from the two long term injured that he has a full squad to contend with the important games over the Christmas season.
"You know what it's like, it is always a vital part of the season and important over the next few games especially that we win our games."
Asked about the length of his own contract Allan replied:-
"It is about results and we just have to keep on winning. Our aim is to get promoted by winning the league. Hopefully we will be in that position come the end of the season and then we can all sit down and look at everything."
The manager laughed off any potential reaction from the players Christmas night out in Dublin last Saturday:-
"It is that time of year and you need a Christmas night out, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you don't go overboard. Since they have come back they have worked really hard in training and they are focussed on the next game - that is all that you can ask."
The players will be given Christmas Day off. The gaffer draws from his experiences:-
"I never feel you get much out of bringing them in, I don't see the point of bringing them in Christmas Day you just have to trust them and hope they take a jog."