Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 6th Oct 2016

06/10/16:- Allan Johnston is looking forward to Saturday`s Irn-Bru Cup tie against Queens Park as the next step in a route to a cup final.

"You want to be playing in cup finals, challenging to try and win things. Some people maybe don`t see it as a big cup but it is still one that you want to go and win."

AJ won the Challenge Cup at Queen of the South and savoured the occasion:-

"It was a really good crowd, great atmosphere and always nice to win. We won`t be treating it lightly. Every competition is important, winning is a habit and builds that wee bit of momentum and confidence. We want to go out and put on a good performance and get a good result.

"We know Gus MacPherson will make it difficult, he always has his teams organised. They have had a lot of good results this year against teams from higher divisions like Morton and the colts teams.

"I have looked at all the goals that they have scored. They have scored a lot from corners, free kicks and penalties. That must have accounted for three quarters of their goals.

"They have a lot of height about their team so we are going to have to defend setpieces really well."

Giving an update on the injured players from last Saturday at Ayr, the manager confirmed that John Herron is definitely out with a swollen ankle, Nicky Clark is "touch and go" and there a couple of others with light knocks that will need to be assessed nearer the day of the match. Nat Wedderburn is still sidelined with a calf injury.

Queens Park are 5-1 to win and the Pars go into the cup tie as odds on favourites given their opponents are in a league below them. Allan Johnston claimed that the favourites tag was one that they had learned to live with last season.

"We were favourites but it is hard against teams like Queens Park who do not lose a lot of goals. Sometimes they play five at the back and make it really difficult to break them down and they try to hit on the counterattack. It is going to be tough, we are going to have to be patient and we are going to have to move the ball quick. We also have to defend well too, especially at setpieces."

Asked if the cup tie would allow him to take a look at some of his fringe players, the manager stressed that you want to win every game.

"I have not decided on the team that is going to start but whatever team starts then we have good players. I do not think that we have `fringe players`, I think that they are all first team players, every one of them. Hopefully we will have enough to go and win the game."

The cup tie comes on the back of the team`s first clean sheet in the Championship.

"The first cup games at the beginning of the season we had clean sheets but it has been coming for a while because the performances have not been far away. It was good to get a clean sheet and we actually defended well for long periods, especially the two centre halves who won everything. As a team I thought we defended a lot better."

Asked about the media speculation that St Mirren`s new manager, Jack Ross was targeting John Potter as his assistant, AJ replied:-

`There has been no contact. I think they are pals anyway so I imagine there is an automatic link. Potts has played there as well so probably people just putting two and two together."

What if there is an offer?

"If there was something like that that, we would not want to lose John. He is a big part of the backroom team and done well with the young boys who are progressing big time. There is a lot of them getting close to the first team. It wouldn`t be something that we would encourage."



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