Manager post StenhousemuirSaturday, 19th Dec 2015
19/12/15: AJ - "We are delighted to be in the position we are, we have improved this quarter"
- - Listen to this Allan Johnston interview
Allan Johnston was pleased to collect three points but conceded right away that the 1-0 over Stenhousemuir was somewhat short of a Christmas classic:-
"In the first half we never passed the ball anything like we can do. Second half we were a lot better but it was a difficult game. It was end to end but it shows you how massive every game is when you look at the Ayr result as well.
"There are no easy teams in this league and apart from the Scottish Cup games, Stenny have been doing really well recently so it was a really difficult game and we are just delighted to come out on top."
The manager agreed that his side did not give Stenhousemuir keeper Matty Gould a good enough testing.
"Considering the amount of goals that we have scored this year, that was one area that we could definitely improve on. When you are not testing the goalie as much it is important that you get a clean sheet at the other end. We did that again.
"It was a real team effort today. Sometimes it is not going to be a classic and I don't think it was a classic today but it is important that you win these games."
The win coupled with Ayr United's defeat at Peterhead confirmed the Pars top spot with a gap of six points now between Dunfermline Athletic and the Somerset Park club:-
"They have a game in hand to be fair. As I have said before we just have to focus on our own performances. There are no easy games. We are delighted to be in the position we are, we have improved this quarter which was always going to be difficult to do after the first quarter we had.
"We are not losing goals, we are still scoring goals so there are a lot of positive signs but there is a long way to go. We will not get carried away."
The clean sheet was secured as a result of several first class saves from Sean Murdoch, his boss continued:-
"Sean is quality! That is what you need, a keeper who is maybe not getting tested a lot but when called upon can produce these types of saves. In defence they have been magnificent this year.
"It is also good for big Shaun Rooney coming on, getting the goal will give him that bit of confidence. The most important thing today was getting the three points and now we just have to make sure that come Boxing Day we are ready to go again."
Match winner Shaun Rooney was a half time substitution and it looked inspired but AJ played that down:-
"Marc McAusland was struggling throughout the whole game with a migraine so that is why we had to bring him off at half time. We had a few missing today; Lewis Martin was missing through illness so the team was re-shuffled a bit and we never really got going at the start of the game."
The final praise was reserved for the goalscorer, Shaun Rooney:-
"It is easy enough to just smash it over the bar but he kept it down, kept it on target and he was unlucky not to score another one as well. He is buzzing in there so that's good."
- - Listen to the thoughts of Stenny manager Brown Ferguson