Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Wednesday

Wednesday, 5th Jul 2017

05/07/17: AJ - "With the size of club and the players that they have got it does not get much tougher than Hibs."

"The main objective from pre season is to try and get the boys as fit as possible, try not to pick up too many injuries because sometimes you can pick up niggles and knocks. We are working our way into the games and the knocks have been more impact knocks from tackles, nothing serious.

"Sean Murdoch had a back spasm and there is not much that you can do about that. It will just take time for that to get better. Declan McManus was a tackle and he has started kicking the ball again. It will not be long before he is training and Jason Talbot is probably a week away - he was just feeling his calf a bit."

Saturday`s closed doors match against Partick Thistle is the kind of competitive friendly that the boss was looking for.

"We played the first half with the majority of the boys who had been here last year and we were quite strong. In the second half we had a lot of trialists playing and a couple of young boys as well so it was always going to be difficult against Partick Thistle`s first team more or less.

"It was a good work out, a really good experience and we just have to keep on progressing and improving and make sure that we are ready for the first game."

No one needs reminded how good a team the opposition on Thursday night are. They comfortably won the Championship last season and will be expected to improve again this season. AJ predicted that Hibs will be challenging for a top six place:-

"Thursday will be a massive test for us. With the size of club and the players that they have got it does not get much tougher than Hibs."

Allan Johnston confirmed that he will continue to look at trialists and expects to run the rule over some new ones later this week.

"I do not think that there is anything wrong with taking a look at people when you get recommended players. You don`t want just anyone coming in but you have a look and check. View the video and ask somebody who knows them or has watched them. We bring them in on trial if we think they are going to be good enough.

"We just have to make sure that we take our time. Look at the quality that we brought in last year a wee bit later on - guys like Nicky Clark and Kallum Higginbotham.

"Because we are in the Championship and we are trying to improve, the guys we are probably looking at have maybe other choices at bigger clubs. You just have to take your time, be patient and try and get the guys that you originally wanted.

"It is the same everywhere, there are always clubs with more money who can attract the players that you are looking at. It doesn`t matter what club you are at everybody has the same problem.

"There is no rush, there is plenty time until the season starts and we can take our time and make sure that we get the right players in."

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