Manager on ThursdayThursday, 20th Oct 2016
20/10/16: AJ - "You need to give yourself a chance in games, teams are not working hard to score against us and we need to be more solid."
Allan Johnston expressed his appreciation of the large travelling support at the Falkirk Stadium in last Saturday`s match and is looking forward to the visit of Hibs that is expected to attract a sizeable crowd to East End Park on Saturday. The Pars boss was still finding it hard to take any positives out of last Saturday`s 2-1 defeat away to Falkirk. He told the media on Thursday:-
"It’s one of those games where people just remember the result. They don`t remember the good stuff. It is the same as we say the majority of week`s, we need to tighten it up defensively. It was poor goals we lost, we have looked over them and we need to start learning quickly from them.
"That’s the first quarter done and we know it’s been a disappointing start but I think it’s been a learning curve in some ways as well. Stepping up a division, you get punished for making basic mistakes if we can cut that out then we will be fine because going forward, even on Saturday there was a lot of good stuff and we were making chances.
"We were probably the team on top for the first 25 minutes then we lost a goal which just shouldn`t happen, especially from where it came from."
The manager is in no doubt how important it is to score the first goal:-
"Peter Houston said after the game that goals change games. We were on top, they scored the first goal that gave them a massive lift for the last ten to fifteen minutes of the first half. When we eventually got it back to 2-1 it gave us a massive lift. Then you could see Falkirk going on to the back foot. It would be nice to get the first goal in games.
"I think they’ll realise quickly that we cannot keep making the same mistakes, we need to learn from them. You need to give yourself a chance in games, teams are not working hard to score against us and we need to be more solid."
The impact of his tactical substitutions on Saturday pleased AJ who described them as bringing a bit of a "spark" to the game:-
"That is what you are looking for, injection of pace to go by people or run in behind people. You cannot fault the boys for their effort, they are giving everything. They kept on going to the very end but it is still disappointing when you look at all the goals that we have lost and also getting beat in a big derby."
The manager`s analysis concludes that in the games lost, there have been some good performances and it’s all about turning performances into results.
"That’s what counts, we need to start working our way up the table and we’re disappointed to see where we are just now. We’re far too good a team to be in the position we’re in and it is only us who can change it."
That position is eighth in the league having taken seven points from the opening nine league matches. Saturday`s visitors are Neil Lennon`s Hibs and fixtures in the Championship continue to throw up big attractive matches. AJ continued:-
"It’s always going to be a difficult game, Hibs are top of the league for a reason, they’ve got a lot of good players and it’s always going to be a tough game.
"We’re going to have to defend well and everybody will have to be at their best for us to get a result. But we’re always good at East End Park so with the support we have, then we feel confident that we are capable of beating anyone."
That confidence is further strengthened by Farid El Alagui having scored four goals in the last four matches. Allan Johnston was delighted that he had done well since arriving at Dunfermline but also underlined the presence of a greater strike force in his squad.
"We have good forwards who can score goals but I do feel that as a team we can still do better. We could score more goals but it is keeping them out at the other end that we need to focus on now."
Farid`s contract is only up until January and the manager agreed that he is a good pro to have in a young team but revealed that his contract had not been revisited yet.
On the injury front Joe Cardle`s knee problem is still classed as "struggling but nothing serious". John Herron is getting closer to returning but still won`t be fit by the weekend.
AJ confirmed that former Par Jordan McMillan has been training at the club to get up to fitness as he attempts to find a club. The manager added:-
"We’ve got a big squad, he’s in training just now and that’s as far as it goes."