Manager on ThursdayThursday, 17th Nov 2016
17/11/16: AJ:- "When you get chances in this league you have to make sure that you take them.
Allan Johnston was still reeling from his team making life difficult for themselves by having a man sent off in both their last two matches. Lewis Martin and Nat Wedderburn both were shown red cards in the back to back Dundee United matches.
"I thought we defended better over the last three or four games and looked a lot more solid. Dundee United were always going to be a tough test but I think we more than matched them for long periods. We were still disappointed come away with nothing."
Performances may well have improved but it is results that matter and the Pars manager agreed that the results have not been anywhere good enough:-
"We have to learn from that and we have to improve quickly because the season is going on and we need to put a run together. I have said before, the next six or seven games are against teams around about us in the league and teams that we feel we should be competing against and that we should be able to catch."
St Mirren were a Premier League side just two seasons ago and like Dunfermline Athletic feel that the should be playing at a higher level but reputations mean little in football and AJ added Hibs as a club that demonstrated just how hard a league the Championship is to get out of.
"It is very competitive and we have taken a while to adjust to it at the start. There is not much between all the teams in this division and I think that we have the players capable of putting a run together and working our way up the table."
Is this a `must not lose` match against St Mirren on Saturday?
"You have to go into it in a positive manner and trying to win it. If you just sit in content not to lose that is not the way we play. We go out to try and win every game. The boys have taken a bit of confidence from their recent performances and looked a lot more solid. We need to score more goals.
"In the majority of the games that we have played we have created chances and when you get chances in this league you have to make sure that you take them. Allied to that, better defending gives yourself a chance."
Allan was at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Sunday and witnessed Jack Ross` side coming from behind to knock Ian McCall`s Ayr United out of the Irn Bru Cup, he felt that there was not much between the teams there either.
"St Mirren were probably the slightly better team even in the first half. They worked the keeper with a couple of shots. They have freshened the team up by bringing in a couple of younger ones as well who have a bit of pace but they still have the older heads like John Sutton and David Clarkson who can cause you a lot of problems because they know where the goal is."
The manager spent season 2009-2010 at St Mirren and at that time played in the same side as Saints current manager Jack Ross and one John Potter.
"He is a good lad and nice to see him doing well. He has gained experience at Hearts and at Alloa. He will have learned a lot and AJ joked :-
"Jack is possibly one of the minority of football players who are quite intelligent! He worked at the PFA as well and was always a good talker. I`m sure that he is enjoying his time. It is a good chance at a good club because St Mirren are a big club with potential as well."
Allan Johnston is pleased that his 20 year old defender Lewis Martin is not suspended for Saturday`s games:-
"That is good because he has been one of the most consistent players this season. Whether he plays full back or centre half he tends to play well everywhere that we have played him, even last season as well.
"It is great to have him available because we have our issues with injuries and suspensions. We have a big squad and I`m sure that we will have to utilise that to its full potential.
"David Hopkirk is still out, Ben Richards-Everton is out, Gavin Reilly is out, Ryan Williamson is out, Euan Spark is just coming back. Nat is suspended and there are a couple of other wee knocks."