DUNFERMLINE manager Allan Johnston has left the club, it has been announced.

Following speculation over the 45-year-old's future this afternoon, the Pars have released a statement confirming his departure, as well as that of his assistant, Sandy Clark.

They said that they had "sadly" parted company with their management team, with chairman Ross McArthur commenting: "“I wish to place on record our sincere thanks to Allan and Sandy for their considerable efforts on behalf of our club. We wish them well in the future.

"Stevie Crawford has agreed today to take charge of the team for Saturday’s visit to Tannadice.”

Pressure had been building on Johnston, who took over in the summer of 2015, after a disappointing campaign Championship campaign so far.

Having lost a raft of key players in the summer, including captain Callum Morris, top scorer Nicky Clark and fans favourite Joe Cardle in the summer, Johnston reshaped his squad in the summer.

Despite a bright start to the campaign, which included advancing to the last 16 of the Betfred Cup and winning their league opener at Dundee United, Dunfermline have struggled and currently lie seventh in the table.

Having won just twice at home in 10 matches, their total of 24 points is 15 fewer than league leaders Ross County, but just nine more than bottom club Partick Thistle.

Having ended 2018 with a thumping win at rivals Falkirk, Saturday's 2-2 draw with Alloa Athletic - in which Dunfermline threw away a two-goal lead to concede a 94th minute leveller - proved to be Johnston's final game in charge.

After being appointed as John Potter's successor, Johnston led the club to the League One title in his first season in charge, finishing 18 points clear of runners-up Ayr United.

They went on to finish fifth on their return to the Championship before bettering that performance last season, with an impressive run in the second half of the campaign earning them fourth spot and a shot at promotion through the play-offs.

However, with disgruntlement growing over performances and results this term, the Pars board have acted and will begin the search for a new manager.