Manager on ThursdayThursday, 18th Jan 2018
18/01/18: AJ:- "We’ve brought in Lee Robinson so far but we’re hopeful of getting in a couple more over the next couple of weeks as well."
Allan Johnston started off his Thursday update with a report on how training had avoided the winter weather this week:-
“We’ve ended up going to Ravenscraig the last couple of days, which has been good. It’s always good when you get somewhere to train.
“So, it’s not disrupted us too much. We were lucky enough to get things booked. I would imagine some clubs will have struggled to get facilities, but we’ve been quite fortunate.
"The park looks like it’s thawing out as well, so that’s a plus because it looks like the game is going to go ahead."
With the East End Park playing service recovering AJ confirmed that his squad is also getting back to normal:-
“Lee Ashcroft is back training, he’s fine, and Callum Smith is back as well. he was still struggling at the start of the week, but is fine now. Everybody is fit."
Opponents Morton have a good away record having lost only once on the road this season in the league at Tannadice. There is certainly no surprises in store felt the manager as the sides come together for the third time this season:-
“We play each other enough, without playing each other in the cup as well, I think everybody says that. The players know each other inside out they play each other that often. Hopefully we can get the result, get through to the next round and see where it takes us.
“You’re hoping for somebody to do something to make the difference. The games we’ve played against Morton recently have all been really tight. There’s not been much between the teams.
“They’ve got a lot of good players and they’re really dangerous at set-pieces, with the height they’ve got - guys like O’Ware scored a lot of goals last season and again this season. So, we know we’re going to have to defend well."
The manager is pleased with the clean sheets achieved in the last three matches, he continued:-
“Even in the Dundee United game, we looked solid, we didn’t look like we were going to lose goals. We looked dangerous and should probably have scored with some of the chances we had.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but we need to make sure we continue that, keep putting in those types of performances and keep getting results. We want to try to get as many wins as possible between now and the end of the season."
Allan Johnston would not give away much on the signings front but was hopeful of bringing someone in before Saturday’s game:-
“We’re hoping to bring in more than just the one. We’ve brought in Lee Robinson so far but we’re hopeful of getting in a couple more over the next couple of weeks as well."
Commenting on speculation that Ryan Williamson was attracting interest from other clubs, AJ said:-
“That’s the problem in January, you’re always going to have big clubs looking at your good players. And Ryan is certainly been one of them, he’s been fantastic this season. Going forward, he’s always been really, really good, but defensively this season he’s been solid.
“You can just see how much he’s progressing ever year, so it’s no surprise that bigger clubs are looking at Ryan. I don’t think there’s been any contact from Hibs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s teams looking at him, because he is a good player."
The manager reported that 18 year old Stuart Morrison had extended his loan at Edinburgh City adding:-
“He’s really enjoyed his loan and he’s extended that. It’s great for him to see first-team football and you can see he’s really improved. Hopefully he does well again."