Manager on ThursdayThursday, 14th Jan 2016
14/01/16: AJ - "There is a long way to go but we are definitely in a good position."
Allan Johnston is appreciative of the efforts of the ground staff to ensure that the East End Park playing surface is good for Saturday:-
"The last thing you want to do is let fixtures start to pile up, we have been lucky so far that every game has been on. Long may that continue and they are working really hard to get it on, so fingers crossed."
He is especially keen to keep the momentum going because even in defeat at Dingwall in the Scottish Cup replay his team is playing really well and the confidence is high:-
"We have to be careful after such a big game on Tuesday. Sometimes it's a different atmosphere and people maybe expect you just to walk out and win 4-0 or 5-0 but it is not like that.
"Albion Rovers will make it difficult for us. They do not lose a lot of goals as you saw in the last game."
Darren Young will definitely want to do well against his old club and Johnston felt that was demonstrated in the first two fixtures against Albion Rovers this season:-
"They are hard to break down, they sit quite deep and defend the box well. They are really good on the counterattack. We are well aware of what they do but it is about what we do and make sure that we get the tempo up again. Sometimes that can be difficult after a long journey up to Ross County but the boys should be ready to go again on Saturday."
The performance against SPL opponents again pleased the Pars manager as the displays against Dundee and Dundee United were produced again against Jim McIntyre's County, AJ continued:-
"We have been in every game against these teams. The only let down this season has been the St Mirren game. Sometimes that happens but the boys have shown consistency and we just have to make sure that we keep it going. There is a long way to go but we are definitely in a good position."
The opposition and their manager had praised Dunfermline for their cup tie efforts predicting that promotion would happen for the Pars this season. The manager had spoken to players who had previously worked under him:-
"They were praising the boys after the game saying that they could not believe the quality that we have got and the way that we passed the ball. We were the better footballing team and we stopped them playing. It is alright them saying that they never played well but that's because of the way the boys played against them - the energy and quality they showed.
"When you get your chances against Premier League teams you have got to take them. We had more than enough chances to win two or three matches."
The most recent display of competence only underlines the fact that Dunfermline Athletic deserve to be playing at a higher level. The manager responded:-
"The club has everything; the support, the fan base, the size of the club, we can attract good players so we are going in the right direction but as I have said we have not achieved anything yet. We just have to make sure that we do not let our standards slip."
Lewis Spence has gone out on Development loan to Brechin City and there are moves afoot for an on loan player coming in as well. That is likely to be next week and should add more competition for places in the team.
The manager confirmed that Simon Mensing is currently training with Dunfermline and that the trialist who played in the under 20s on Monday was 17 year old Evan Horne from Dundee United.
On the availability front Ben Richards-Everton "will be fine" according to the manager who described the centre backs problem as migraine based. Andy Geggan was given three stitches after the match at Dingwall but is fit for Saturday. Other than the long term injuries and Lewis Martin the squad will be at full strength.
"Lewis had a virus and he will need to rest for a few weeks. We just have to take medical advice on that one and make sure that when he comes back he is fully fit. It is just a precaution and we have not to take any chances."
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