Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 10th Aug 2017

10/08/17: AJ - "They have a bit of pace about their team and we know that it is going to be a tough test.

Allan Johnston looked forward to Saturday`s home league match against Inverness Caley Thistle and reflected on the Betfred Cup defeat to Rangers the previous night:-

"For us to go and get a result at Ibrox everybody has to play their very best. You maybe need them to have a bit of an off day and not hit the heights that they did on Wednesday night. One thing you certainly cannot afford to do is lose a goal in four minutes.

"And then the second goal in ten minutes because no matter who you are playing, it is the same for us if we are playing Peterhead or Elgin and we score two within the first ten minutes then the confidence goes up, the crowd get behind the players and it totally changes the game.

"Once we did that we knew that it was going to be a long night. We have to start better, we looked at it this morning and we never did the basics right. You cannot afford to do that against good players.

"Rangers got their tails up with scoring in four minutes. A lot of the goals came with us giving away possession. They scored two from free kicks - fantastic finishes - but we could have done a lot more I think to prevent the goals. I think we are a lot better team than we showed last night."

The manager is now hoping that there will be a reaction to secure a result on Saturday against newly relegated Inverness Caley Thistle:-

"That is the main thing. The Rangers game was always going to be difficult. A Championship side playing against a top six club, we knew it was going to be difficult but our priority is the Championship to make sure that we win games against the teams round about.

"We know Inverness have a strong squad, they have kept the majority of players from last year. They have a bit of pace about their team and we know that it is going to be a tough test. We have to make sure that there is a reaction from everybody. We need to be positive and go and get the reaction that we need."

After three away games the Pars now face three consecutive matches at East End Park. The manager stressed however that if Dunfermline were going to do well in the Championship then they need to get results both home and away. He felt that his side were capable of that.

"Last week the draw with Livingston was a hard game but you can see that there is not going to be any easy games in this league. I was at the game as Livingston defeated Falkirk on Tuesday night. Livingston played really well and that shows you how tight this league is going to be.

"It is always about consistency, putting a run of results together. That is what we need to do."

Last year it was Richie Foran who brought Inverness Caley Thistle to East End Park in the Betfred Cup. This year it is John Robertson who is in charge and of course that pitches two former Jambos together on the sidelines. AJ commented:-

"He played upfront and when I first broke into the team I was played upfront as well, just playing off Robbo the target man. He is one of those enthusiastic guys, he has obviously done well at Inverness before as well. I am sure that he will get them going."

"He will be delighted to get another shot at management and I am sure that he will have the drive and determination to do well."

The Pars manager has not seen much of Inverness but is very aware that they have good players like Iain Vigurs, Jake Mulraney and Liam Polwarth. They can pass the ball well, they are all very comfortable on the ball and so Dunfermline know that is going to be a tough game.

"Brad Mackay and David Raven who was one of their Cup winning team are there. They have a lot of quality, a lot of experience, guys who have played in the Premier League for a long time. We are going to be at our very best to get a result."

The manager gave an update on the injury sustained by Lee Ashcroft who required five stitches for a gash on his forehead.

"He should be okay to play at the weekend but it is a bad one. We are okay on the injury front, hopefully everybody is fit, available and feeling good by the time Saturday comes.

"Dean Shiels is getting there. Even when he came on last night, we were up against the cosh a bit but he had that composure."

Only six players were named on the team lines at Tynecastle and the Pars gaffer confessed that he is still looking to cover a couple of positions.

"Trying to get them in is hard, a big stumbling bloc just now has to be attracting players who are not part of plans at other clubs to come and play in the Championship.

"Last year we brought in, Nicky Clark, Kallum Higginbotham and I would imagine over the next few weeks before the window shuts there will be a lot of changes. Hopefully we can strengthen the squad."

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