Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 18th Oct 2018

18/10/18: AJ - “Queen s are one of the top teams for shots on target. They are always going to be a threat.

Allan Johnston has warned his players that Saturday’s visitors to East End Park are good going forward:-

“Stephen Dobbie is a great role model for all the young boys coming through. Look what he is achieving st his age, the goals that he is scoring, the different types of goals, the quality he shows, the way he looks after himself. He is a good example, that is how he has played of long and obviously he is still producing top performances as well.

“Queens are one of the top teams for shots on target. They are always going to be a threat. We have just got to make sure that we are organised. It was the game here last year when Stephen Dobbie ran riot and we learned after that you cannot afford to give him space.

“He has started this season really well so we have to make sure that somebody is always close to him. We cannot afford him to get the ball and be able to run at us and cause problems.”

Allan felt it was more than just a case of man marking Stephen Dobbie:-

“He is clever, he will go and stand beside somebody else so there is two people who have got him. That is what happens when you man mark somebody, you have to be flexible. We have just got to make sure that we are aware of him, you cannot allow him time and space on the ball, even at his age.

“He has scored 24 goals already, an incredible return for this part of the season. Hopefully we has a quiet weekend.

“At the other end of the park we have started creating chances again, started scoring goals. We just have to make sure that we continue that.”

The manager was not willing to accept that Queen of the South’s defeat at New Bayview on Saturday was a sign of crumbling form:

“I think everybody’s priority is the league, there are probably some changes when it comes to the cup competition. We have to get re-focussed we want to finish the first quarter with a win, then hopefully build on that and try and improve.”

Reflecting on last weekend’s exit of this season’s Irn Bru Cup, AJ said:-

“I think that we should be winning games at home. It is always difficult when teams try and frustrate you and make it difficult. When you get yourself 2-1 ahead then we should see out the game and win it comfortably. In the second half we were in total control and that is how it was frustrating to lose that late equaliser.

“We have defended really well of late and we did not see that coming. Sometimes that happens in football so we need to be back to league business which is our priority.

“Missing penalties does happen, I’ve missed some before as well but it is a bit of a lottery when it goes to penalties but we should have been out of sight before that.”

The manager watched Kallum Higginbotham and Lewis Martin return to action in the Reserve League Cup tie against Motherwell at Forthbank on Tuesday afternoon. He added:-

“It is always good when you get boys coming back. They are probably a couple of weeks away from being up to top speed, they have not had a lot of training but it is always encouraging when people are coming back. There is more competition, it pushes people on. We have a good squad for the weekend and we have to make sure that we h9 out and put on a good performance.

‘Aidan Keena could not play in the reserves for us because he plays with Hearts in the reserves, he cannot play for us as well. He has been out injured as well but he is looking sharp. Higgy and Lewis Martin played 45 minutes the other day but they are coming back to full fitness. Tom Beadling got another 90 minutrs under his belt.

“The reserve league is useful albeit we weren’t happy with the result but that is what it is there for to get them fit and make sure that they are challenging for the first team because obviously as the season goes on, you are going to need everyone.”

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