Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 25th Feb 2016

25/02/16: AJ- "There will be a lot of boys out there desperate to do well against us but as I have said numerous times, it is all about us.

Allan Johnston is keen not to lose any momentum as Dunfermline come up against Stranraer in what will be the Pars 26th league match of the season. He said:-

"It would be nice to get back to clean sheets again because you put yourself under a bit of pressure and give teams a bit of hope as well when you lose slack goals like we have done in the last couple of weeks. It is frustrating when you lose a goal from a setpiece with a free header, hopefully we have learned from that."

The manager dismissed the suggestion that personnel changes in his back four had not helped the recent defensive record:- "There are no excuses for that. If you are a defender you defend."

He agreed that last Saturday his team made their win more difficult than it looked and hopes that they can get a result against Stranraer on Saturday:-

"We could quite easily have scored a lot more goals. We gave Brechin hope by letting them get the goal back but even then we should still have taken our chances and scored three or four.

"Stranraer are one of the form teams; us, Peterhead and Stranraer. They have only lost one game in the last nine. They are obviously playing with a lot of confidence just now, probably bringing in Willie Gibson has made a big difference to them in attack. They are not losing a lot of goals either so it is going to be a really tight game but hopefully we have the quality to break them down."

Willie Gibson is just one of four former Pars players in the Stranraer team - Steven Bell, Ryan Thomson and Andy Stirling. While they have an incentive against their old team there is also Paul Cairney at Kilmarnock and Willie Gibson at Queen of the South up against their former manager.

"I am sure that they will be desperate to make an impression. There will be a lot of boys out there desperate to do well against us but as I have said numerous times, it is all about us. At home as well, we have to make sure that we start the game right, positively and pass the ball quick. We need to get in behind them, create chances and obviously take our chances as well."

Lewis Martin is a week to ten days away from being fully fit. Ryan Williamson will play in the 20s again on Friday at Murray Park on the U20s re-arranged SPFL Development League game game against Rangers. AJ continued:-

"It was great to see him return in the 20s on Monday (v Falkirk) and play 20 odd minutes. It will take him a wee bit of time to get back up to speed but it is fantastic news to see him out there playing. It will not take him long because he is a naturally fit boy. He just needs the game time to build him up and get him back.

"Within minutes of coming on he had a run up the right and put in a great cross as well. He had a 50-50 challenge early on and that will do him a lot of good."

The manager said that 19 year old Liam Coogans who was the Trialist in the U20s on Monday will feature again on Friday at Murray Park.

"He is just here to let us have a look at him, I don't think there is any harm in taking a look at somebody. He has a bit of talent; he was down at Huddersfield and at Queen of the South earlier on in the season."

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