Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 21st Apr 2016

Allan Johnston is seeking a much improved performance from that at Stranraer last Saturday.

The Dunfermline manager described the first half at Stair Park as good but in the second he felt his team was poor.

"Look at the goals, two from corners and one from a free kick. We were lacking a bit of height. Guys like Ben Richards-Everton and Andy Geggan are usually two picking up at corners. Stranraer capitalised on that."

Pointing out that there were a number of his ever presents missing AJ stressed that it is always going to be difficult when there are so many changes, continuing:-

"It is an important time of the year and we have a great opportunity to give some boys game time who have waited patiently. David Hopkirk for instance needs some game time to make sure he comes back next year challenging for a first team place. That is what we are looking for.

"Ryan Williamson is just coming back from an injury that kept him out for the majority of the season. He has done incredibly well to get back. Lewis Martin has been out for a long time as well.

"You can see a lot of changes - some boys have not played a lot so you are going to get results like that. The boys have shown this season that when there are disappointments they have responded in the right way. You just need to look at the league table and see how far ahead we are. That showed on the park week in week out."

Turning to the last away match of the season this Saturday at the Excelsior Stadium the manager has watched videos of the opposition and noted long throws from both sides with the centre halves in the box.

"Corners are where they score a lot of goals. We are going to have to defend a lot better at setpieces than we did at the weekend. It will be a similar type of game with the height that they have got and the way they play."

Saturday will see the team back on AstroTurf, a surface that has suited the Pars this season. The manager discussed:-

"In the games played on AstroTurf we have played really well, passed the ball well and it is probably because of the pace we have in the team. We like to get the ball down and pass it quick with movement. Hopefully the pitch suits us this weekend, that we can a result and back to wins."

The manager revealed that his squad for the trip to Airdrie risks being restricted as a result of niggling injuries.

"The last thing that we want to do is take any chances with anyone because there is no point. It is all about making sure that come pre season we are 100% right. If anybody has any niggles they will not be playing, there is no point.

"There are a couple who have been struggling with illness. It's a full car load who have obviously caught something and they were off today. We are going to have a few missing so we will just have to wait see who is available.

There was no further news of contract agreements following Michael Paton's signing on Tuesday. The manager added:-

"We are hoping to tie up a few more over the next week or two. It takes time and the boys still have five or six weeks left on their contracts. They have time on their hands as well. When the contracts start to run down then they know it's time to get their finger out and get signed."

Reminded that he was a player not so long ago, Allan Johnston responded:-

"You can see it from both sides but I think what makes it even more difficult this year is the amount of people who are out of contract at the one time. With us being successful especially against good opposition, teams are going to be looking at our players as well.

"The point in time when we won the league has left a long time before the season ends. You have agents talking to the players saying this one is looking at you or that one is looking at you. It is all about definite offers on the table. There is no point in waiting if you do not have an offer there."

Asked the weekly question about his own contract situation Allan replied:-

"It is just the exact same answer, that will not be a problem. That will be fine, I just want to make sure that we get some of the boys tied up first because that is the priority."

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