Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 27th Aug 2015

"The support the other night, and the atmosphere, was incredible and, as a player, that's what you want to play in front of. So, hopefully they turn up in their numbers in the next game"

Allan Johnston is hoping that Tuesday's performance against Dundee can be carried on into Saturday's Ladbrokes League One game against Stranraer.

"We need to make sure we build on that performance and that result. We know how hard an opponent we've got this weekend and sometimes after a big game like Tuesday's it's also difficult to lift yourselves. But we know the league campaign is vital this year and we need to take the momentum into the next game."

The players have not come off the cloud they ended up on Tuesday night and the manager confirmed that are still "flying":-

"They put a lot of effort into the game and that's why we're delighted we got a result out of it, because the work-rate was excellent? The game-plan worked and we looked a real threat going forward on the counter, with the pace we've got."

To beat a Premier League side gives the Dunfermline squad and management a real boost and confirmation that they are capable of big achievements this season. The manager agreed:-

"We've got good players. Last week, with the defeat against Peterhead, was a big disappointment and to respond the way they did on Tuesday night was fantastic, and it speaks volumes for all the players in the dressing room."

With Stranraer's League Cup tie against Hibs being played on the following night to the Pars cup tie, John Potter was at Easter Road to take a close look at Saturday's opponents.

"John went to see them on Tuesday night and obviously we've had them watched over the last couple of games as well. They've got boys who were at Dunfermline last season, so I'm sure they'll have a point to prove. So, it's going to be a really hard game. They've got talented players, so we've just got to make sure we 'turn up' and play to our potential."

Nurturing the buoyant mood of the fans is something the manager had not missed either:-

"It makes a huge difference. When you see the other fixtures in the League Cup the other night we had by far the biggest support. It just shows you the support we've got here. We've got to make sure we keep producing performances and results that make people keep wanting to come back to watch the team.

"I knew it was a big club but I didn't quite realise it was as big as it is - and the potential it's got. It's up to us to keep building on that and keep improving, and obviously scoring goals and getting the fans back."

The fans reaction to the game in front of them proved to be a two way thing on Tuesday night.

"The support the other night, and the atmosphere, was incredible and, as a player, that's what you want to play in front of. So, hopefully they turn up in their numbers in the next game and get behind us, because it does make a huge difference as a player."

The manager reported on his casualties, Lewis Spence (collar bone) and Ryan Williamson(double leg break):-

"Ryan got his operation on Tuesday night and everything went really well - Tuesday was a really good day! Spencey is just coming back. He'll probably be another few weeks but the good thing is it's nothing serious; it's something where hopefully in a few weeks time he'll be back to full fitness and ready to go again.

"We're not really putting a time limit on Ryan, it just depends on how the rehab goes. But his operation went really well and with his attitude and his desire to get back we'll probably have to hold him back the way he is."

The manager is well aware of the need to made additions to his squad:-

"We're trying. Just now, when you look at the numbers, it is really small, and we've had a lot of games over a short period of time. So, we're really stretched to the limit just now and we do have to bring players in - and we are trying behind the scenes to bring them in."

Shaun Rooney was the trialist at Peterhead who did not get on the park and he has been in training again this week. The 18-year-old 6ft 3in defender was a standout for Queens Park in League Two last season with his performances earning him a place in the division’s team of the year. Hearts and St Mirren have shown interest in him already.

"We had four trialists this morning and it's good to have a look at them and we'll see how we go from there. He's a really young lad, so there's a lot of interest in him. We're obviously one of the clubs interested and he looks a good prospect. He's at a good age and we'll just have to see how it develops from there."

Twenty three year old defender Rhys McCabe is another of the trialists. The former Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday and Scotland U21 player has had trials at St Johnstone and Hibs for this season. Allan Johnston commented:-

"Rhys has got a lot of talent and has been in training as well. There's been a few in and, to be fair, there might be a couple more coming in as well. I've been saying it for about a month now, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can get them on board and get players who are talented and want to come in and do well; they've got to be the right type."

Does the manager expect any players to leave during this transfer window?

"No, with the numbers we've got we couldn't afford to let that happen. The boys have been doing excellently and I wouldn't be surprised if there's teams looking at our players. But, as a club, we would be crazy to let any of our best players go. If we want to achieve promotion and do well in the cups we've got to keep our best players."

Faissal El Bakhtaoui cannot help to have attracted attentions of other clubs given his prolific goal scoring record so far this season. Allan Johnston agreed:-

"He's got incredible talent, he's going to have a big future if he keeps working as hard as what he's doing, and improving all the time. That's what we're seeing, he's improving all the time. We've also got guys like Michael Moffat and Ryan Wallace, who are banging in the goals as well. So, we're quite fortunate in that department."

Does Monday's deadline date have a big significance for the Pars gaffer?

"You can still get players on loan and guys who are out of contract as well, so it doesn't change everything, but we would obviously rather get players in as quickly as possible. It's about making sure we get the right type of person in, who's going to fit into the dressing-room, is the right age and good enough quality as well."



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