Manager on ThursdayThursday, 24th Nov 2016
24/11/16: AJ - "It is all about attitude going to places like this.
Manager Allan Johnston was pleased that at last his team had turned performances into results with the 1-0 win at the Paisley 2021 Stadium last weekend. He said:-
"They piled a lot of pressure on and it was good for our defence to get a clean sheet as well. Hopefully that is a springboard for us to start getting results and work our way up the table to bring other teams into it as well.
"Our next league game is against Ayr and that will be another massive one but the next six weeks are all going to be massive. It is an opportunity to get back to where we want to be."
This Saturday the team travel to Buckie on Scottish Cup business and the manager feels that keeping momentum going is the most important thing.
"We want to keep on winning games, putting in good performances and scoring goals. Getting clean sheets as well obviously helps. It is about getting the confidence and taking that into league games as well."
The win over St Mirren is the first league game where Dunfermline did not need to score four goals to register a win.
"Defensively over the last month we have tightened right up but we probably need to create a bit more and score more goals. We still had chances but they will come with getting used to winning again and getting that confidence and belief back that you are going to go out and win games week in week out.
"Defending better certainly gives you a much better chance especially with the players that we have got going forward, we will always score goals."
The manager was pleased that Callum Fordyce was a member of the back four last Saturday as the side achieved just its third shut out of the league season.
"He came in for the massive game against Hibs but I thought he played well. He was really unlucky to make the mistake and it was the same in the Dundee United game but these things happen and test your character.
"To be fair he has responded well, worked really really hard to get back into the team and he has taken his chance. We are delighted for him, I am sure that will give him loads of confidence and it is up to him now to keep on improving and keep his place in the team."
The defence certainly got a serious testing by a St Mirren team that went flat out in the second half to find an equaliser after Nicky Clark had put the Pars into a 26th minute lead. The manager felt that these are horrible games to play in because no one wants to be the one to make a mistake that costs his team points:-
"I think that was both teams but I thought we handled it better. Even when they threw everything at us at the end we defended well, got bodies in the way of shots and we probably should have scored a couple of goals in the second half as well.
"Michael Moffat was so unlucky but he was in the right place with a great bit of skill to get there and get his shot away in the first place. Nicky had chances as well and there was a lot of positive stuff but the main thing in games like that is getting the result."
AJ replying to a question about Ben Richards-Everton`s knee operation said:-
"He will be ready when he is ready. Just like last year with Callum Fordyce and Ryan Williamson we will make sure that the rehab is 100 per cent, that he takes his time and comes back fully fit. He has got it fixed, hopefully there are no problems and his comeback will take a bit of time. It is going to be a few months."
Andy Geggan will be out with an ankle injury, Gavin Reilly and David Hopkirk are still out. Ryan Williamson did some running this morning to see if he had any reaction. Better news on the availability front is the confirmation that Kallum Higginbotham is not suspended for this cup tie since he served his two match suspension at Kilmarnock.
Saturday`s opponents, Buckie Thistle have been watched for the management and Allan is well aware that as Highland League leaders they have players who know the way to the net.
"Goalscorers will always score goals no matter what level they play at. We are well aware of their good players and the problems they can cause us. It is all about attitude going to places like this.
"Playing in not quite as good a stadium with a surface that is not perfect. You cannot not make excuses, it is how you deal with that."
Even as a player, the gaffer has never encountered a cup trip like this one. He claimed:-
"It is a really tough test, we are not taking anything for granted. We are going up the night before and preparing right because it is a long journey. It is like their cup final so you need to make sure that you are up for it as well.
"Hopefully is we work as hard as they do, if not more, then hopefully the quality will shine through."