Raith’s Chris Johnston admits he owes Dunfermline boss, his namesake Allan, a big debt of gratitude.
However, the winger’s thanks will be put on hold this afternoon as Rovers take on the Pars at East End Park in the eagerly-anticipated big Fife derby.
The player, who signed for the Kirkcaldy side this summer, previously enjoyed a spell under Johnston when he was at Kilmarnock.
That though will be at the back of his mind today with the 22-year-old admitting he knows exactly how much this game means to Raith’s fans having sat in the stand at Stark’s Park when his team won the first encounter between the sides back in August.
He said: “I played under Allan Johnston at Killie.
“Kenny Shiels gave me my debut but Allan gave me a good run in the team.
“I was grateful to him for that chance but I will now be looking to get one over on him.
“I will be hoping we get the win this Saturday as it is obviously a derby.
“I know he will be getting his players up for the game.
“They are not doing too well in the league but that doesn’t really count for much on the day.
“In a derby, both teams will be up for it so it will hinge on who wants it the most. Everybody knows it is a big game.
“I missed the first one this season because I was injured but I was sitting in the stand and got to see how much it meant to the fans.
“So I am really looking forward to the game and hopefully if I do get picked I can help us get a good result.”
Johnston has endured a frustrating time since joining Raith with a succession of minor injuries hampering his progress.
However, with fellow wide man Bobby Barr currently injured, he was handed his first start since July 30 in last week’s win over Queen of the South and he is now determined to cement his place in the side.
He said: “It was good to be back involved. It had been a stop-start beginning to the season for me with a lot of little injuries here and there.
“I was out almost the whole of last year so I have been picking up wee niggles but hopefully I am over them and can get a run in the team to show everybody what I can do.
“The most important thing though was it was a good result and three points even although the team can play a lot better.
“Hopefully Bobby is not out too long as he has been a good player for the club.
“But I will be looking to do well and stay in the team.”
Johnston was snapped up in the summer by Rovers boss Gary Locke, who was also his manager for a time at Kilmarnock.
And that connection meant the player could not escape his “Mushy” nickname.
He added: “I got that from my younger days at Kilmarnock.
“When I first came in full-time, I had really long hair but you would have to ask the boys at Kilmarnock why they called me Mushy.
“I kind of hoped when I moved to Raith that it would go away but obviously the gaffer was also there at Killie so he’s followed it on.”