Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 22nd Sep 2016

22/09/16: AJ- "There will be no panic. We will keep playing the way we are playing. Obviously we need to tighten up ....

Allan Johnston was upbeat in his Thursday interview with the media. He gave an update on player availability before discussing the team`s potential to halt a five match losing run in the league.

Nat Wedderburn and David Hopkirk are back in training and Sean Murdoch came through the Development League match on Monday. As a consequence the manager has several selection decisions to make. He told the media:-

"That is what you want especially when you are in the position that we are in. We need as many options as possible and the good thing is everybody wants to play.

"Sometimes when you have had a couple of bad results then people start feeling this or feeling that but everybody is desperate to play. That speaks volumes for the players that they want to get back on track and they want to work their way up the table."

The manager said that up until now there has always been injuries, illness and suspensions that has limited his choice but now he looks forward to being able to field his strongest starting eleven.

"You are always going to look for changes (given recent results) and you cannot put all the blame on the defence but we we have lost far too many goals.

"There is obviously going to be changes when you are conceding goals in the manner in which we have done. When you come through a slump it is a test of character.

"We have not been a million miles away but we still got beat at the end of the day. We need to address that. It is seven points to third place and it`s only September. It is not as if it is a crisis by any means.

"We are well aware that it is not good enough. With the players that we have got then we can definitely turn it around. Everybody looks down the way and sees the negative side but we have good players. In every position, wide players, strikers - we have competition for places. We have a really good squad and we just need to get back to winning ways."

The manager agreed that Saturday is the kind of match where the backing of a big home support can make a difference:-

"We have a young team and even some of the experienced ones as well, you are looking for backing and getting behind the players because we want to win. It is a massive game, they are all massive games.

"As I said we are seven points off third place and there are a lot of games to play. There is much to play for and a lot of games to be won and lost between now and the end of the season. The last thing we can do is panic because we are a good footballing team.

"We don`t want to get dragged into playing the way some of the other teams do hoofing it long, looking for second balls and not wanting to make a mistake. That is the last thing that we want to do.

"There will be no panic. We will keep playing the way we are playing. Obviously we need to tighten up. The difference between us and the majority of the other teams is that we have players all over the pitch who can score goals."

Asked if it makes St Mirren harder opponents given that they sacked their manager after last week`s draw at Dumbarton, AJ replied:-

"It maybe takes a bit of pressure off them but there are no easy games. They are a team with good players, it will be tough no matter what. The way results have gone recently it is all about making sure come the end of the game that we win."

St Mirren`s Head of the Club’s Academy, Allan McManus will take the team on an interim basis until a successor is appointed.

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