Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston surprised by scale of Dundee United’s defeat but not expecting easy game

Allan Johnston.

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston admits he was surprised by the scale of Dundee United’s loss to Falkirk.

However, that doesn’t mean he expects to get it easy against the Tangerines this weekend.

While the Pars were quietly and professionally tucking away a fine 1-0 victory at Dumbarton last Saturday to make it three wins on the trot in the Championship, all hell was breaking loose at the Falkirk Stadium.

United were being thumped 6-1 by the Bairns, with many observers suggesting the scoreline could have been a lot worse.

It was one of those remarkable results that had everyone in Scottish football talking and it was certainly noted by Johnston.

On paper, he now has a golden chance to finally end his club’s 10-match winless streak against the Tannadice team – a run that stretches all the way back to August 20, 2011 – when they visit East End Park tomorrow.

Despite admitting that it could be a good time to be playing Csaba Laszlo’s men, the Pars boss is still expecting United to be difficult opponents.

Asked about that shock scoreline, Johnston said: “You’re surprised, aren’t you, because Dundee United have a lot of good players.

“They have strengthened their squad in January and brought in some good players so I didn’t see that one coming, to be honest, with Falkirk scoring so many goals.

“It just shows you that you can’t take anything for granted in this league.

“It is really difficult to predict the scores and there is not much between the teams, even between the top sides and those near the bottom.

“If you are going to play United it is about trying to get them when they are on a poor run of results by their standards, compared to what they have been on, with St Mirren beating them as well.

“But they still have a lot of quality players so we know it’s going to be difficult.

“For example, they have brought in Craig Slater, who I know really know from my time at Kilmarnock, and he is a top young player as well.

“But it is at home and that should give us a big advantage, with the crowd we can bring and the atmosphere.”

As for the long, fruitless run against the Tangerines, he added: “I do think we are due a result against Dundee United.

“They always seem to have the hoodoo over us so hopefully we can put that right and get a result, especially at home as well.


“There’s not been much between the two teams but you’ve got to be at your very best to get a result against Dundee United.

“You can’t afford any passengers – everybody has to play at their very best.

“We have an important few games coming up, a tough run if you look at the fixtures, and there would be nothing better than starting it off with a win against United.”

Johnston revealed that, just like every other workplace in the country, East End Park has been infected by coughs and sniffles.

However, he doesn’t expect that to impact upon his team selection for tomorrow.

He said: “We have had a lot of illness this week but I’m sure we won’t be any different to the majority of teams.

“There is a lot of it going about everywhere just now – it’s murder.

“But, by the time the weekend comes, I would imagine everyone will be fit and desperate to play.”