Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 13th Sep 2018

13/09/18: AJ - “When you do not take your chances at the other end obviously defenders get a bit nervy, the crowd get nervy but it is up to us to put it right.

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston claimed that the journey to Hertfordshire to play Boreham Wood in the Irn Bru Cup was a great opportunity to improve his team’s togetherness. He told the media this lunchtime:-

“Going away and spending a bit of time together is good for the boys bonding. It is always good to win as well and go through on penalties.

“The fans turned up in their numbers, created a good atmosphere and got right behind us. It made it a worthwhile trip.

“We said before the game that we need to get back to basics and back to defending well. Last season we had the best defensive record but some reason we have been losing a lot of poor goals recently.

“We had to tighten up and I don’t think Lee (Robinson) had a save to make to be honest with you. We defended well but on the other hand we need to start taking our chances as well. We need to be more clinical.”

The manager repeated his belief that there are no easy games in the Championship as he turned his focus on Saturday’s opponents Alloa Athletic:-

“They have been in with a chance to win every game. We know that they will be tough opposition, they have got good players, they pass the ball well and it is not as though they just get the ball and launch it, they try and pass the ball.

“We are well aware of their good players, how they play and how difficult they make it for their opponents. We have to make sure that we start the game really well. We won’t be taking anything for granted.”

The manager felt that the cup break gave him and his players time to work on things which had maybe gone wrong in recent league games:-

“We have tried to improve the defending and improve the other side of it by scoring goals again. We started the season well, we beat Dundee and Dundee United and have probably been better away from home this season but we need to get back to winning games at home and make it a hard place to come.”

To stop losing poor goals is a priority. AJ continued:-

“It goes both ways, when you do not take your chances at the other end obviously defenders get a bit nervy, the crowd get nervy but it is up to us to put it right. We have good players and I’m sure come the end of the season we will be up there challenging.”

The Pars formation was switched to a 4-4-2 at Borehamwood on Saturday, something that surprised the opposition manager Luke Garrard, Allan commented:-

“It is always good to have the flexibility although we were restricted by the players we had available as well. I’m sure it gave the players a bit of confidence. We have defended well in the main even when playing a three but some of the goals that we have lost have been really sloppy.

“Looking back to our last home game we lost out at a free kick, a kick out and from our corner. That was the three goals, it is nothing to do with the style of play. It is more to do with switching off and not doing the basics well.

“First and foremost you need to defend well on this league or you are going to get punished because it is good teams that you are playing against.”

The manager confirmed that Ryan Williamson had returned from international duty with the Scotland Under 21s and hopes to be available for the Alloa game even though he picked up a ‘niggle’.

“We have a strong squad, that is the difference between us and some of the other teams, when someone is injured there is always someone else who can step in.”

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