Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 18th Aug 2016

18/08/16: AJ:- "They are not going to change it for us and we are not going to change for them.

Allan Johnston spoke to numerous media channels on Thursday and he told the website how impressed he had been with Saturday`s opponents Raith Rovers:-

"They have started the season really well and last year they had a great season. They finished in the top four, were unlucky in the play offs and now they have started this season really well as well.

"Gary (Locke) has made a couple of good additions as well with the likes of Declan McManus who brings a lot of pace upfront. It is going to be a tough test."

The manager believes Saturday will bring a great game with both teams going for the win.

"I am sure that it is going to be an exciting one for the many fans that we are going to take. The difference between the Championship and the lower leagues - you have the atmosphere and the games are closer.

"What we have to learn is that we cannot afford to make cheap mistakes. If you look at some of the goals that we have lost recently, they have all been cheap. It is not as though teams are working hard to score them. If we can cut that out we will be a right good team because we have players who can hurt teams going forward and will always score goals.

"To be fair the defending has been good apart from a few lapses with individual errors."

Allan Johnston and Raith manager Gary Locke have known each other since the were cleaning boots as sixteen year olds at Hearts. Johnston locks horns again with Gary Locke. The two met when they were respective managers at Kilmarnock and Hearts but Gary won the last encounter, AJ continued:-

"I am sure that he will be really happy in his job, he has had a few difficult situations to handle obviously with his time at Hearts, the administration and also his time at Kilmarnock. I am sure that he will be relishing his job just now.

"He has good players at Raith Rovers. Bobby Barr is a really talented player who has always done well. Jason Thomson who played here and guys like Kevin McHattie who has played at a higher level. He has brought in some good players and it should be a great game.

"I do not think they will change much given the way that they have started in the league. They are not going to change it for us and we are not going to change for them. It should be an exciting game."

The manager reported that those injured players he had are back or getting close to that. Even Sean Murdoch who has probably been the most long term of all is only a few weeks away and it is getting closer and closer to his comeback. Due to Lee Ashcroft`s suspension, Callum Fordyce was thrown in last week against Hibs. The match at Starks Park is possibly a week too soon to see Nat Wedderburn and the only downside for the likes of David Hopkirk, Paul McMullan and Michael Paton is the lack of competitive game time.

"That is why we played a 20s game the other day and tried to get them and up to match speed. Callum has signed a new deal, he deserves it because he has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is. I thought he did really well last week and we were all gutted for him with the mistake (that led to Hibs winning goal).

"He has played at a good level, he has played in the Championship the majority of his career and I think he will be a good addition to the team with his experience. He is a good talker and leader off the park, you could see that last season when it would have been quite easy to just go into your shell. He was always in the dressing room and always trying to give the boys advice. You need players like that."

The manager explained that the short term deal that expires at the end of August was in place because given the size of the first team squad he could not risk any one who was going to be a doubt.

"Kenny Murray is happy with him, he has worked incredibly hard to get fit. He has played six games now and managed the training as well. You cannot do much more to prove your fitness."

The trialist in Tuesday afternoon`s friendly in Kelty was Slovakian striker Alan Kováč Allan Johnston commented on the 23 year old who played with TJ Iskra Borcice:-

"He scored a couple of goals against Raith Rovers who to be fair had a pretty young team out. I think we dominated the majority of the game. It was good for him to score a couple of goals. He is still here but we probably need to see him a bit more."

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