Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Friday

Friday, 7th Aug 2015

Can the manager change a winning team?

For his trip to Brechin, Manager Allan Johnston is hoping for a similar performance as that against Cowdenbeath last Saturday. He told the website:-

"It would be great if the boys could replicate that. The standards that the boys have set in the first two games of the season, the energy, the way they are passing the ball, the chances that they are creating had all been really pleasing.

"Obviously we want clean sheets as well. We were disappointed to lose a goal on Saturday but all in all I thought that it was a really good team performance. Even in the first half when we never scored, we created loads and loads of chances. We knew if we kept on putting the pressure by playing the same way and not giving them any time on the ball then the chances would come and we would eventually get our goals."

The first League One fixture takes the Pars to Glebe Park where the famous hedge makes sure that it is a tight pitch. Allan Johnston was in no doubt that it will be a hard game:-

"I have been up there many times with Queen of the South and there was never an easy game there. I am sure that they will be focussing on not losing goals especially after their last two games. They will be well organised but we just have to take our own game there, concentrate on ourselves and make sure that we play with the same tempo that we have in the last couple of games."

Brechin City have a new manager in Darren Dods and that is one of the reasons it can be expected that the home side will be out to halt the goals against that they have suffered from in the two cup ties they played on the last two weeks.

"He was a winner as a player and I am sure he will instil that in the team there as well. I was the same a couple of years ago as well and it didn't do me any harm at Queen of the South. I don't think that makes much difference."

AJ confirmed that he has a full squad to select from. Faissal El Bakhtaoui was struggling at the start of the week but he is fit for Saturday.

"It is great to have him available, he has been fantastic and obviously Jason Talbot is back from suspension as well. A full squad but we will need everybody because of the number of games coming up over the next month or so. We are going to be really tested and that's why it is important that we do get another couple of players in over the coming weeks."

Saturday is the first of six fixtures to be played in the space of 21 days and as much as it might be necessary to utilise the full squad, will the manager change a winning team?

"That's always a difficult one isn't it? They have played really well but it is about putting pressure on. You know that if you are in the team you need to keep your place and you need to do well. We had a reserve game during the week there (v Kilmarnock) and a few of the boys got a bit of game time. They did well and that adds a bit of pressure on the ones that are playing."

Picking up on the 3-1 defeat in the Development League the manager said that these games are going to be tough on what is a young reserve force:-

"It is going to be really difficult for our 20s because we have a lot of boys at 16. Josh Magennis was upfront against Jordan Orru who is 17 and Stewart Morrison who is just 15 year old. For this really young squad this year is more about experience for them. Hopefully given that year's experience they can kick on the following year."

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