Manager on ThursdayThursday, 28th Jan 2016
28/01/16: AJ - "They've got a lot of new players and they've got a lot of height up front, so we've got to make sure we stop crosses into the box and don't give away silly free-kicks.
"I think Friday night football's good. If you saw a lot of the games last year, whether it was Premiership games or whatever, I think they always attracted good crowds, even though they're on the telly, and there's always a good atmosphere.
"Playing at night is always good for the players; I always enjoyed playing night-time games for some reason. I'm sure we'll have a big crowd and hopefully we can get the win. Especially after what happened to one of the supporters after the Peterhead game as well."
The club were very sad to hear of the very sudden death of life long fan John Coupland on the Elizabethan Pars Travel Club bus when it arrived back from Peterhead on Saturday night. The manager relayed the thoughts of the management and players:-
"Our condolences go to his family and hopefully we can get a win for him because Dunfermline was obviously a big part of his life. It's never nice to hear of something like that happening. I'm sure if he was still here he would have been desperate for us to get a win for him and his family.
Hopefully we can do that."
Saturday's draw at the Balmoor Stadium meant that the Pars nine point lead at the top of League One was pegged back to seven and the Pars gaffer is keen to get back to winning ways:-
"If you look at the unbeaten run we're 15 games without a defeat. The boys have done fantastic. Peterhead is a difficult place to go to and we had the better chances and their keeper had the better saves. But we still know we can play better than that and I'm sure we will on Friday night."
Allan Johnston agreed that Andy Geggan had put in a first class captain's performance against Peterhead adding:-
"He's been one of our better players all season, to be fair to him. He had three headers, one from a corner, one from a free-kick and one from a cross from Joe, so he was a massive part in the game, defensively and offensively as well. He's been really good for us. He's a leader on the park, he's a good pro as well, and that's the kind of characters you want in your dressing room."
Friday night's opponents Airdrieonians will be an unknown quantity in so far as AJ has not watched them since they appointed their new manager, Eddie Wolecki Black.
"I went to watch them a couple of weeks ago and the game got called off because of the weather, but we've had them watched a couple of times and we've seen videos of them. They've got a lot of new players and they've got a lot of height up front, so we've got to make sure we stop crosses into the box and don't give away silly free-kicks.
"They scored a goal from a corner last week as well, so we know we've got to be on our toes at corners. Lister's back and they've got Dylan Mackin, a young lad from Motherwell, so they've got a lot of height up front. The two centre-halves are really aggressive as well, so we've got a lot of big boys to deal with."
One player who will not be around to help with that is Marc McAusland who left the club on Tuesday. The manager admitted that McAusland's departure leaves his squad a little light on defenders:-
"I knew Marc had the option in his contract because that was the only way he would sign when we first got him. He's always said he wanted to play abroad, even since he left St Mirren, and he said if the opportunity came up he was wanting to go.
"He had a couple of offers. I don't think he has actually signed for anybody yet but it will only be a matter of time. It is a big disappointment, because he did well when he came in and he added a wee bit of experience. So, we were lucky we managed to get Brad in.
"But, obviously, it still leaves us short, especially at centre-half and I think we've got to try and bring in somebody else. We're trying, it's not as easy as that. We're trying to bring somebody in, whether it's someone out of contract or a loan, but with Brad being an over-age loan it would have to be a younger one.
"Just now the priority is probably a centre-half, one who can maybe play out wide at a push. But a centre half is the main priority just now. It would still be good to strengthen with another striker as well, just so we have got plenty of options."
Lewis Martin and Ryan Williamson are back running and doing a bit of ball work but not yet fit to join in training. AJ added:-
"They are still going to be a while before they are back and able to be involved in games. They're going in the right direction, which is the main thing, but it's not going to be in the next couple of weeks, anyway.
"Callum Fordyce is going to be a good bit longer than that. He's going to have to get the other operation as well, and he'll hopefully get that next week. Then, he'll be starting the rest of his rehab. We always knew he was going to get another operation at some point, so it's good he's on track to get it next week."