Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 12th Jan 2017

12/01/17: AJ - "We probably will need to put a couple out on loan, if we can."

Allan Johnston knows that his side`s eight match unbeaten run has taken them into a much better league position but is not going to dwell on the success, he told the media:-

"As soon as one game is done you are thinking about the next game. We want to push up the league and we have to try and reach the teams up above us.

"You need to win games like the one on Saturday but we know how hard it is going to be against St Mirren. If I am honest I think they are in a false position when you look at the squad that they have got, the size of club and performances.

"They really played well against Queen of the South, they should have won the game yet they ended up getting beat 3-0. Sometimes that happens when you end up losing soft goals and chasing games."

The manager will not let complacency slip in when playing against the team that is bottom of the league.

"They are still a good team, they have a lot of good players, they have strengthened and brought in a good addition and possibly another in Rory Loy. The players they are bringing in are Premier League quality so it is important that we go and try and get the win to make sure that we are challenging up at the top end of the league because that is where we want to be."

The poor start to the Championship season has been turned around lately and Allan Johnston has been reminding his players that there is still a long way to go in this league campaign.

"There are hard games to play especially when you are playing against teams round about you."

It has been confirmed that John Herron and Paul McMullan will remain at East End Park until at least the end of this season. The manager added:-

"They have been two big players for us recently. Paul has come into the team and done really well. He gives us that bit of pace and he is one of those players who is exciting to watch because he goes past people. I am still on about him trying to score more goals, that would be nice.

"He is doing really well at the minute but he has to make sure that he keeps that up. When you look at the bench you see guys like Joe Cardle, Michael Paton- they are quality players who are not playing right now. They are working hard to try and get back into the team. That is always good to see as a manager.

"John Herron is a big player for us as well, the majority of games he has played in we have won. He is a big influence. We brought him in to try and strengthen the midfield.

"I hadn`t seen much of him but we had heard a lot of good reports about him and spoken to people. All the reports came back really good and he was really keen to come and get his career back on track.

"He has done that and he has to continue to do that because it is a big five or six months for him. He has loads of energy, you see the amount of ground he covers in games. He just has to continue that kind of performance. At the start of the season it obviously took him a bit of time to get up to speed. He had a couple of wee niggles but now he has had a good run at it.

"We would definitely be keen to keep him because of the way he has been playing but I am sure that there will be a lot of other teams looking at him as well."

Callum Morris met his new team mates on Monday morning and the manager sees his new signing as someone who is going to strengthen the defence. I think since I have signed him you can see the reaction from the other players as well. That added quality coming in creates greater competition and you can see we are defending better.

"That is because they know that they have to do well to keep their place. He has played at a high level, you can see the presence that he has got, he has good pace and is a good defender. I am sure over the course of the season he will be a good addition."

Asked if there was likely to be any other movements whether in or out, Allan Johnston replied:-

"We probably need to get a couple out on loan but there are still a few weeks to go (of the transfer window) so a lot can change in that time, whether it is people moving out or people coming in. You are always on the look out for good players but you have to balance the books as well. We probably will need to put a couple out on loan, if we can."

The squad is fully fit, with the exception of long term injured Ben Richards-Everton and the manager acknowledged that is was difficult to get into a team when it is doing so well.

"Everybody has to make sure that they are giving their all every day in training to try and get back in the plans."

Asked a supplementary on Ben`s recovery, AJ said:-

"He is off his crutches and started his rehab. The surgeon is happy with him so far. He is doing general exercises and he will need to build up his legs. It is a very slow process but he will get there."

The manager dismissed reports of interest in youth goalkeeper Cammy Gill:-

"I have not heard anything from any clubs, he has not heard anything and it looks like speculation but it shows you how well some of our young boys are doing. Cammy, Scott Lochhead and Conner Duthie are signed and a couple of other younger ones are really progressing. It is always worrying as a manager but great to see how well the boys are doing when you get things like that being said."

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