Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 5th Oct 2017

05/10/17: "We are going to be really stretched because of the boys who are away and the injuries that we have got"

Allan Johnston is looking forward to taking his side to the Falkirk Stadium on Saturday and putting last weekend`s home defeat to Dundee United behind them:-

"We could have done better but I still don`t think that there was much in the game, especially first half when we were probably slightly on top. They scored the first goal but also I think the second goal just before half time was the killer goal.

"We were left chasing the game and we were really open. We stopped playing the way that we normally play. We started trying to force passes instead having that wee bit of composure.

"We can play a lot better, that is the positive thing. We just have to get back on track. It will happen sometimes, you will have blips along he way. You need to learn from your mistakes and make sure that we are better next time.

"There is a long way to go and there are a lot of good teams in this league. I don`t think we have played anybody that you`d say are miles ahead of us. There is a lot to play for, a lot of big games still to play and we just have to get back to the consistency that we have showed."

The manager explained that he would rather play the Irn Bru Cup tie against Falkirk than ask for a postponement as a consequence of having four of the players who were in his squad against Dundee United last Saturday away on international duty.

Above: Scott Lochhead v Buckie Thistle in last round

"We have used this competition to play boys who have not really had a lot of games so we are going to the same anyway. I know it is against Falkirk but it is a chance for the other boys to come in and do well.

"To have so many boys away on international duty is fantastic for the club and a real boost for them obviously playing in that. It is good that the club gets recognised as well. They apply to the league but I don`t think that there actually any rules in place to cover call ups in this competition."

Above: Fraser Aird at East End Park

No rules exist possibly since it was probably never considered that teams in the Irn Bru (Challenge Cup) would have so many players called up on international duty. The manager continued:-

"It is amazing guys like Callum Morris and Fraser Aird in squads against top teams. Last night I watched young Callum Smith in the game against France. He was excellent when he came on , he was a real goal threat against good players."

The appointment of Paul Hartley as the new manager at Falkirk following Peter Houston`s departure will give Saturday`s opponents a lift claimed the Pars boss:-

"He is a good manager who has done well over the years that he has been involved."

Above: 04/10/16 - Paul Hartley and the Dundee management team watching Dunfermline in Development League

Commenting upon the absence of Ryan Williamson and Callum Morris from his back four, AJ said:-

"We will make have a few changes, we just have to deal with it. We have a decent sized squad but we are going to be really stretched because of the boys who are away and the injuries that we have got. But as I said, it is an opportunity for somebody else to do well.

"You want to test yourselves against the good teams anyone so the boys can come in and show that they can play at that level and that they should be playing."

The gaffer laughed off another possible John Potter comeback just to field a full complement of substitutes.

"We will probably not fill the bench. With boys out on loan as well, we are stretched but we still have a strong squad even with that many players away."

After being out injured for a number of weeks, Jean-Yves M`Voto trained for the first time on Thursday.

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