Manager on ThursdayThursday, 4th Feb 2016
04/02/16: "Joe Cardle has trained all week. He is a big player for us but with the players we had playing on Friday we should still be winning these games."
Allan Johnston is looking to his team responding in the right way after losing 1-0 to Airdrieonians last weekend:-
"We need to bounce back. You get days like that; we had all the pressure but it needed that extra quality to break them down. It is frustrating. In the first half we had them penned in for long periods. Then they got a goal out of nothing when we should really have defended better.
"We gave them something to hang on to. They sat really deep but when they are sitting really deep that is when we need the full backs making runs in behind, the wide players taking somebody on and picking somebody out or just a moment of individual skill. We just could not break them down on Friday.
"It was disappointing that we never played as well as we can. We are much better than that and have been for the majority of the season. If football was easy and you just turned up and win every week then it would be great but teams come and try and frustrate you. On another day, if we have got an early goal, we probably would have scored three or four.
"Everybody was gutted. We has 25 shots but lacked quality in the final third. Where it has been there for the majority of the season, it just wasn't there on Friday but we shouldn't have lost the game. The final pass wasn't there and the end product, whether picking out from a cross or individual skills with somebody beating somebody to create an opening.
"We had enough play, enough possession, enough shots to get at least a draw. That is not good enough."
Although Dunfermline have scored 70 goals this season they have now gone three games without scoring but the manager is confident that the goals will return:-
"If you had seen training today, it was really lively and the AstroTurf surface seems to suit us. Every time we have played on it whether at Forfar or Stenny we have passed the ball really well, created a lot of chances, scored a lot of goals. I am not expecting anything different."
AJ watched Stenhousemuir draw 0-0 with Brechin City on Tuesday night and he noted that they are a good passing team:-
"We have got to make sure that we make them defend. We are good going forward, we cause team problems with our pace and movement. We put a lot of crosses into the box and when we do that we cause teams a lot of problems."
Tuesday night also gave the Pars manager a good opportunity to see how Lewis Spence's loan was working out at Brechin, he said:-
"I thought he did really well. That was probably the best I have seen him since I have been at the club. I have seen him in games early in the season and in some of the 20s games. It was pleasing to see him playing so well."
Joe Cardle will return to the team "he has trained all week. He is a big player for us but with the players we had playing on Friday we should still be winning these games." Joe was one of four players fighting the flu last week; Sean Murdoch, Ben Richards-Everton and Josh Falkingham all struggling.
The manager was also pleased to have brought in Craig Reid this week, he commented:-
"He brings a lot of experience, obviously he has played at a good level. I have played alongside him as well when he was a youngster at Queen of he South. He gives us flexibility because he can play midfield, full back or centre half. I think he will be a good addition to the squad."
Last Thursday Allan Johnston said that he was looking for a defence and a striker. This Thursday he confirmed that he still wanted to sign a striker:-
"We are still looking, we are trying and hopeful that we can bring somebody in over the next few weeks. We are looking at the two options, someone out of contract or a loan. We have contacted a few clubs but just have to wait and see how that goes over the next few weeks."
A loan deal might be a 93 day emergency loan but the time of that will not be a consideration:-
"At the end of the day I think you are probably better just getting people in as quick as possible. That would push us on and give us an extra spark. To be fair, the boys have done well, showing consistency all year but having lost Mickael Antoine-Curier as well we are possibly a wee bit light up front. It would be good to get an extra player in and it would give everybody a boost."
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