Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 6th Sep 2018

06/09/18: “the plan, get back on track, score some goals and hopefully get a clean sheet.”

Allan Johnston confirmed that he is taking a stronger squad down to Borehamwood for the second round Irn Bru Cup tie than he took to Inverness in the first round.

“We have a couple of niggles who we are not going to risk since at the end of the day the league is the priority and we need to make sure that we are ready for next week. It will be a massive game especially given the run that we are on. We need to get wins.

“Saturday is an opportunity, it is not in the league so we can obviously go there with the pressure off. Sometimes that is what you need to go, express yourself and hopefully get a result to build on.

“When we got this tie against a big strong team, it was the plan not to go there with a really young squad. They would have been too physical and too big for us.

“We want to put in a good performance, we want to try and get a result but we know that it won’t be easy, it will be a hard place to go.

“We have a lot of fans going down, a lot of people making the effort to go down so we have to make sure that we put in a good performance as well, try and get a result and make it a worth while game. That is the plan, get back on track, score some goals and hopefully get a clean sheet.”

AJ revealed that he had watched a lot of videos of his National League opponents but had not watched them in live action.

“They are typically big English team, they play three at the back, they get the ball forward to their strikers. With the strength they have we know that we are going to have to defend a lot better than we have done in the last few games.

“You can’t underestimate them, they were really unlucky not to get promotion last year. They have some good players, they have started the season well so it is a good one for us because of the run we have been on. It gives us a chance to freshen things up and hopefully put on a performance to get back on track.

“We have a few boys who are needing a bit of game time to get them up to speed. At the end of the day we want to make sure that they are ready for next week. There is a flip side to everything, you have to look at both.

“We have to make sure that we defend better, that is one aspect that we have been concentrating on this week. In the same breath we need to score goals as well. We have not taken our chances recently.

“We have created chances but we need to be a bit more clinical when they come along. It is a collective thing. It is not just the defence for losing goals even though to be fair the goals have been cheap.”

Commenting on his transfer business concluded at the end of the transfer window, AJ said:-

“Robbie (Muirhead) is going to take a few games to get up to speed. He has not played a lot of game time at MK Dons this year. Malaury (Martin) has not played a lot either, so those two are going to take a wee bit of time to get up to speed.

“Obviously we know young Keena is not going to join us for about another month anyway. We knew that was happening in the first place but hopefully they bring something new to the tea, and a bit of freshness as well.”

Adding an update on the injury situation the manager reported Tom Beadling is on his way back and trained on Thursday. He will probably join in fully next week. Lewis Martin has had an operation and is recovering fine and Sean Murdoch has been to see his specialist just for a check up.

Ryan Williamson will be absent on international duty with Scotland U21s and Lewis McCann was with Northern Ireland U19 in Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Slovakia.

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