Manager on FridayFriday, 29th Jul 2016
29/07/16: AJ. - "It is hard to believe that we got beat 5-1 but we got punished for individual mistakes
Regardless of the result between Inverness Caley Thistle and Arbroath on Saturday, Allan Johnston feels that Sunday`s Betfred Cup match at Tannadice is a must win for both sides.
"With both teams trying to win it, there will be a great atmosphere. It is live on television and that always adds a bit of extra spice to it. We will take a big support up, they have a good support so it should be good."
The manager and his players were really disappointed with the result at home to Inverness Caley Thistle and that was no less after the video of the match was played back:-
"The boys put a lot into it, especially in the first seventy minutes when we more than matched them. It is hard to believe that we got beat 5-1 but we got punished for individual mistakes and for giving away free kicks in the wrong areas. Most teams you play against won`t score from direct free kicks whereas they punished us."
Inverness`s speedy new winger Jake Mulraney proved to be hard to deal with but the manager praised the way Jason Talbot tamed him in the second half.
"He got a lot of the ball in the first half but I wouldn`t say that he got a lot of crosses into the box. When you look back, we lost goals at bad times. This is not making excuses but we probably never got the breaks at times.
"There were a couple of penalty incidents and we never scored at the critical times. At 2-1 just after half time we got a fantastic chance and playing against quality teams like Inverness you really need to take your chances, that came back to haunt us."
The manager, as always, is really keen to win on Sunday but dismisses any affect that might have on the Pars in the four subsequent league matches the teams will play against each other.
"We want to win the first game and do really well against them. We know that it is going to be difficult because they have quality players."
Any depression descending upon Dundee United following their relegation from the Premier League appears to have been lifted with the appointment of Ray McKinnon as their new manager. AJ pointed to the kind of budget that Dundee United and Hibs have at their disposal:-
"Quality players don`t count for everything. We have been stuck in League One for a few years."
Turning to his injury list the manager stressed how important for others to fill the void created.
"I have said before that everybody should be capable of stepping in and playing. It didn`t matter who is playing, We expect to have good players on the park. We have a good squad and it will help when we get some of our more experienced back as well. We are a young team but guys like Callum Fordyce are coming back."
Callum has played a few of the 20s games against Kelty Hearts and Crossgates Primrose but probably not had a hard enough test yet. AJ continued:- "it will be good to have guys like that back with his quality and leadership. Gavin Reilly, Sean Murdoch, Michael Paton, David Hopkirk - they are all big players for us."
One other player missing on Sunday will be captain Andy Geggan who will sit the match out due to suspension. The manager feels that Andy will be a massive miss:-
"He has started the season on fire, not just with his goals but with his overall performances as well. We have been delighted with him so he will be a big loss, but it is an opportunity for somebody else to grasp it. Hopefully somebody does that."
- Preview Dundee United
- Dunfermline 1 Inverness CT 5
- Cowdenbeath 0 Dunfermline 3
- Pars live on BBC Alba