Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Boreham Wood

Saturday, 8th Sep 2018

Link to audio of both managers post match comments

- - Listen to this Allan Johnston interview

After defeating Boreham Wood on penalties, Allan Johnston was happiest of all with his side’s clean sheet:-

“I think that is important for the confidence, especially against such a big physical team. You can see the height they have got throughout the whole team.

“There were periods we did well and there were periods where we could have done better. We probably need to be scoring more goals in my opinion, especially with the attacking players that we have got.

“That is something that we can work on and it is important that we get a foundation first. We got a clean sheet and getting through is always important.”

Boreham Wood were a solid defensive unit but AJ felt that with the quality he has in his team, especially with the quick feet.

“I thought we got into some good areas but probably didn’t get the shots away quick enough. You have to give credit to them as well. They defended well at times but I still think with the quality we have got, we have to punish teams.

“We had done a lot of homework on them, seen a lot on video and received a lot of reports so we kind of knew the players they have got, the system they played. It was important to come here and make sure that you get the result especially when you have so many fans at the game.

“Especially after the run that we have been on, it was important to come here and put in a performance, get clean sheet and build on that to get a bit of momentum again.

“Hopefully we have done that and it is a step in the right direction. We have a lot to work on, we know that but I think we are going the right way.”

With the team flying down on Friday and staying overnight the manager felt that the trip to Borehamwood was a useful exercise in team bonding:-

“It has been good for the players to go away together and spend a bit of time together. It is brilliant when you get the chance to do that. Obviously getting the result is better than coming here and getting beat, especially on penalties it would be a real sickener and a real downer. To go through always gives the players a buzz.”

Robbie Muirhead came through his first 90 minutes for the club, the manager continued:-

“He has not played for a long time, he was dying a death at the end there but that is the only way that you can get fit. You can do as much training as you like but when it comes to playing competitive games that is what gives you that sharpness and quality.”

With the teams tied at 0-0 after 90 minutes and the three added on at the end, penalties followed. The manager’s advice to his players was “just don’t change your mind.

“Their keeper was massive, he filled the whole goal. Make sure that you don’t change your mind and hit it with a bit of pace as well. There are always people who are confident who want to take it. When you start going into the ones outside the first five it shows a bit of character to go up and take the penalties.”

What was the advice to your own goalkeeper?

“He was actually desperate to take a penalty, you know what he is like. In the cup final with Queens he hit one of the penalties and it might even have been one of the winning penalties. I wouldn’t have had any qualms about him taking one.”

Was there any reference to Braveheart in the team talk ahead of this cros border cup tie?

“The boys we looking forward to the game, it was something different. It was brilliant to see the amount of fans we had at the game, there was a great atmosphere. A nice day for a game just disappointed we didn’t score more goals for the possession and some of the passing we had but that is something to work on.”

Continuing on the subject of the dry vocal backing generated by the 500 Dunfermline fans, AJ added:-

“There have not been a lot of European trips over the last few years, I don’t know if this is classed as one but it is good for them and see us play somebody different. When you play the same teams week in, week out it must be difficult for the supporters sometimes. It is just a bit of freshness and it gives a chance for some who are based in England to come and see us as well.”

While laughing at the beach balls that ended up on the park, it was a great atmosphere:-

“You could see that the boys appreciated the effort the fans made to come to the game and they are just glad we got through.”

Malaury Martin’s game time last season totalled just 58 minutes, all off the bench for Hearts and all before the end of August, so his 25 minutes at Meadow Park were good for all concerned. The manager repeated his opinion on what the 30 year old Frenchman can bring to the team:-

“He has a lot of quality, hopefully we can get him up to speed. He can bring his passing and in the period between now and the next game he has a bit of extra time to get fit.

“He is desperate to kick start his career again. It has stood still for probably the last year. It has an opportunity for him and hopefully works for both parties.”

Having qualified for the last sixteen of this Irn Bru Challenge Cup, will the manager treat the competition a bit more seriously now?

“You want to win any game you go into, it is important to go and win and put in a performance. The tie probably cost the club money to come down here but from myself and the players, we would like to thank everybody for their support today.”

Referring to over 200 emails in connection with arrangements for the trip south, the manager added:-

“I would like to thank Billy Braisby for the effort and time he put into organising the trip. It has been clockwork and he has done really well. I think everybody has appreciated it.”

The manager ended with confirmation that Kallum Higginbotham has been struggling with a groin injury for the last six weeks.

“It has gradually been getting worse do this was an opportunity to give it a real test to see if it is not getting any worse or takes a reaction to you. Obviously he was struggling.”

- - Listen to Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard

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