Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 27th Oct 2016

27/10/16: "You can make all the excuses and say that we have done well but at the end of the day it comes down to winning.

Allan Johnston started off by announcing that the red card shown to Michael Moffat in added time at the end of last Saturday`s match against Hibs had been changed to a yellow after an appeal. He told the media:-

"It was never a red card, it was good to see a bit of common sense. I don`t know if it was even a booking but it has been downgraded to a yellow. We have to accept that.

"It never changed the game anyway, after such a good first half, the second half wasn`t good enough, we are all well aware of that."

The manager gave an update on his injury list beginning with Farid El Alagui who was forced off with an calf injury midway through the second half last Saturday.

"He has been training later on in the week, Thursday and Friday for a couple of weeks now. We need to be very careful when it takes a wee bit longer to recover from games. We don`t want it to turn into a long term injury where he would be out for six or seven weeks. We will listen to Kenny Murray (physio) and assess how he is before we make any final decisions on him."

Nicky Clark missed last week`s match but has trained on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Recovering from a knee injury, Joe Cardle trained on Thursday for first time for a while. John Herron has been out since damaging his ankle at Ayr last month but he is expected to join in on either Friday or Monday.

"Joe is a big player for us and the last time we played against Dumbarton he scored a hattrick. He can score goals from wider positions, you definitely miss his quality when he is not involved. We will just have to wait and see how he reacts to training. He had not trained for a couple of weeks, we just need to be patient.

Nat Wedderburn has come through the 90 minutes against Hibs last week and the manager is hoping that the midfielder can kick start his Dunfermline career.

"You can see that he has ability so hopefully he can take his chance and stay in the team."

There was more to report however after injuries to David Hopkirk and Euan Spark on Monday night in the Development League at the Falkirk Stadium.

"We don`t know how long Euan Spark will be out, we are waiting on the swelling on his ankle going down. Hoppy is going to be out for at least a week anyway with his ankle as well. Spark`s was just a really bad tackle and Hoppy just went over on his, there is a bit of swelling there as well. That`s what happens with injuries, they all seem to come at once!"

Turning to the Pars first trip to Dumbarton since January 2013, the manager described the fixture as not an easy place to go.

"It`s a bit open to the elements but we need to start putting a run together that would take us up the table. We have a lot of games coming up that we think are winnable games but at the end of the day we need to make sure that we get the points.

"We cannot keep on saying that the defenders need to defend better, as a team you do everything. We need to take our chances, score more goals and it is the same with defending, we need to defend as a team. There is nothing we can do about occasional individual errors.

"Second half I thought that there was a bit too much pressure on our defence and you could see that the goal was going to come."

Everybody has had their share of errors but AJ is looking to eradicate these.

"We have been changing things because of niggles, we are changing things all the time, results have not been going our way and maybe a bit of lost of form as well. That certainly doesn`t help either.

"It would be good to get results because we have a few big games coming up. You look at the league table and the teams above us, you think we should be doing a lot better.

"You can make all the excuses and say that we have done well but at the end of the day it comes down to winning. That is what we need to make sure that we do.

"There are no easy games in this league but we have to go and show how much we really want to win these games. We want to finish as high up the league as possible, whether we can get in the top four or not remains to be seen but that is where we want to be. To have any chance of doing that then we need to start going on a run but it is not just one result it is a string of results we need. When you start doing that in this league you can quickly work your way up the table."

Asked about the draw for the Third Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup that sent Dunfermline Athletic away to either Gretna 2008 or Buckie Thistle at the end of November, AJ said:-

"It depends whoever we get but it is a long way away. It is not going to be an easy game, you know what it`s like with expectations when you go and play games against teams from lower divisions.

"I played at Gretna once in a pre-season friendly. I don`t know what Buckie is like, I have never had the pleasure of playing up there. It will be a cup final for these teams so really different to play in. The most important thing about fixtures like that is making sure that you get through to the next round."

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