SATURDAY’S trip to St Mirren is “massive” according to Allan Johnston but he has urged his team to be positive and not look over their shoulders.
The Pars boss felt his side should have followed Saturday’s five-star romp over Dumbarton with another three points against Queen of the South on Tuesday but was forced to settle for a draw.
They would have got a second win on the bounce if it wasn’t for the post that denied Nicky Clark late on but the point inched Dunfermline a step closer to securing their Championship status for next season.
After bottom dogs’ Saints reverse at Raith Rovers on Wednesday, Athletic make the journey to Paisley 11 points clear of their opponents and six ahead of second-bottom Ayr United but Johnston is optimistic they won’t need to concern themselves with the battle to avoid the drop.
“We want to get three points and try to catch the teams up above us,” he told Press Sport after Tuesday’s match.
“We know it’s a massive game and we know that they’re on form, even though they’re bottom of the Championship. They’ve brought in a lot of new players and you can see how much they’ve improved. I don’t think there’s much between the teams; it’s very close and it’s who has got that edge with quality players who can make the difference.
“But we’ve just got to focus on ourselves and it doesn’t matter what other teams do. We’ve probably had too many draws but there has been a lot of good play, and earlier on in the season we would probably have got beat in that game (Queens).
“It has been a good run that we’ve been on though and we’ve got to keep on improving, keep on pushing and try and finish as high up in the league as possible. We know how difficult every game in this league is but we need to try and put together a run and see where it takes us.”
Johnston felt that his former side came to frustrate on Tuesday but he expects a more open game this weekend, adding: “The main thing was we never got beat, although we probably should’ve clinched it with a couple of chances we had. They were set up to try and frustrate us and catch us on the counter-attack but I’d imagine Saturday will be a totally different game as St Mirren need to try and get the win. That should suit us as well and be a more open game, so hopefully we can go and punish them. We’ve got to make sure we get the boys ready as it’s another massive one.”