Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 27th Sep 2018

27/09/18: AJ - “We need to put in a performance, we need to make this a hard place to come and play.”

Manager Allan Johnston is keen to see his team start picking up three points from games so that they do not fall too far behind the league leaders.

The late Morton equaliser at Cappielow last Saturday denied Dunfermline a win in what was he felt a better performance. The manager lamented the missed chances and an individual mistake.

“Tomorrow night is another massive opportunity. We need to get back to winning home games and making this a hard place for teams to come and play.”

A home win would see Dunfermline leap frog Partick Thistle and the manager continued:-

“The league is really tight and if you can put three or four results together then you are going to be challenging at the top but it is a difficult league to do that. You can see that we are getting closer and closer.

“Partick have had mixed results, a few wins, then they will had a surprise defeat. They have good players, a lot of them have played Premier League for a number of years now. They are really good going forward with some of the quality that they have - guys like Doolan, Spittal, Erskine - who have played at a high level.

“They have top players but we have to make sure that we get at their defence as well. We have to make sure we make them defend and get the goals that we need.”

AJ praised the contributions of the three players brought into the team for the game against Morton:-

“When they come in they have to take their opportunity. Andy Ryan is a goal scorer, even in that game he had three or four unlucky shots. You are looking for your strikers to be scoring goals or creating.

“Young Aidan (Connolly) came in and with his quality on the ball, his link up play, his deliveries and his crossing gave the team a big lift. They benefited from the experience of Malaury (Martin) as well.

“There is good competition in the squad and that is what you need to have people ready to come in and play. They have kept themselves right when they have been out for a period of time but come in and put in performances like that.”

The manager has never played in a Friday night match but having been to other games on a Friday night and enjoyed the experience, he is looking forward to it.

“They have all had a decent atmosphere and it is different for the fans as well, the Friday night. Hopefully it is the same, that the fans turn up in their numbers and get behind the team. It does make a massive difference when there is a good atmosphere in the ground.

“The last home game wasn’t the best result but you could hear the fans still trying to get behind the players during the game. That is what we are looking for, getting behind the players and hopefully we can put in a performance, get the result that we are all looking for to kick start our season again.

“We need to put in a performance, we need to make this a hard place to come and play.”

On the injury front AJ said things were easing up. Kallum Higginbotham has had his operation, Lewis Martin is stepping up his workload and so getting closer. Tom Beadling was on the bench at Cappielow but he has had another good week in training. Ryan Williamson started back in training this week. Danny Devine has recovered from an illness.

The Friday night game frees up Saturday for the manager but he says that he will be watching upcoming opponents.

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