Manager on ThursdayThursday, 15th Dec 2016
Allan Johnston will return to Palmerston Park for the first time since relinquishing the manager`s job there in June 2013.
The Pars gaffer is looking forward to the trip to Dumfries and he said:-
"I have a lot of good memories there both as a player and as a manager, it will be good to go back."
He acknowledged that there was not much between the two sides when they met at East End Park in August this year.
"The showed in the early part of the season that they have good players. Look at the goals that they have scored, Stephen Dobbie has scored nine and Derek Lyle has scored seven in the league. That is where the majority of their goals come from, they are obviously good players who are a real threat upfront.
"We are going to have to defend well but we are on a good run just now and hopefully we can continue that by building on the result from last week."
Unbeaten in their last four matches with Dundee United the only opponent in the last seven to get the better of the Pars, AJ claimed that it was still too early to be sure that the team`s fortunes had changed:-
"There is still a long way to go. Obviously we need to go and work even hard and make sure that we can get that consistency by getting results week in week out.
"The occasional blip will happen but if the boys keep working as hard as what they have done recently, keep playing with the same quality then hopefully we will get the results that we deserve.
"Coming up a league we were maybe not ready for the quality that we were playing against. We were getting punished too easily. We had to get back to basics, like getting behind the ball as quickly as we can, pressing better and I think we have done that recently. That shows with results.
"We are still a threat going forward but first and foremost we need to be able to defend well if you are going to win games in this league when you are playing against better players.
"It gives the whole team a platform, a bit of confidence when you know that you do not have to score four goals to win a game."
Lewis Martin sat out the home win over Morton on Saturday through suspension but back available again the manager is faced with yet another change to the back four for the match against Queen of the South:-
"Lewis has probably been one of our most consistent players this season, he has done well wherever we have played him across the back line. He puts everybody under pressure to keep their place when you that type of player coming back.
"Ryan Williamson came on last week as well and I thought he did really well. He looked back to his old self again, with his confidence to get forward. It was great to see that but he has not played a lot of games since his injury but you could see his quality.
"We have guys like David Hopkirk coming back, Joe Cardle played well in the reserves on Tuesday so we will have a lot of quality players who will be fighting for places. That keeps people on their toes."
Not so good news on John Herron who was forced off after 45 minutes on Saturday:-
"He will be missing for at least another week. It is typical when you have had an ankle injury, somebody always manages to kick it. That is what happened, somebody landed on him in the first half then he got a kick in the second half. It is not as bad as we first thought but it will be another week anyway.
"Andy Geggan has trained for the last few days, he has not played any games and he has been out for a while but it is great when you have guys like that coming back. He looked sharp this morning considering he has been out for a while. I am sure that we will need everybody over the coming weeks."
Michael Moffat took his chance after starting just his fifth league match of the season against Morton. The 31 year old striker notched a first half double to register even more competition upfront. The manager continued:-
"That will do him the world of good for his confidence. It is all about doing that consistently and staying in the team. It puts added pressure on all the strikers to make sure that they are firing and scoring goals.
"When you have guys like Moff, Farid, Nicky and Gavin coming back as well. There is quality throughout the squad and hopefully that will push us on."
Asked if there were January signings targets, Allan responded:-
"It is still a wee bit early for that yet. A lot of the loans go on until later on in January. There is still plenty time to look at that. We need to get these important games out of the way first and then we can start planning for the remainder of the season."