Johnston: Pars must embrace derby atmosphere
Allan Johnston hopes the frantic derby atmosphere can bring out the best in Dunfermline and help them reverse their dismal home record.
The Pars have won just once since the Betfred Cup group stage, losing five of eight games in front of their own frustrated fans.
Johnston confessed the run is ‘not good enough’ and he came in for major criticism following back-to-back defeats to Queen of the South and Dundee United at East End Park last month.
However, the Fifers boss is hopeful the supporters will get right behind their favourites tomorrow and generate a positive mood to inspire the players to victory.
He said: “We’ve just got to make sure we get the win and improve our home form, which has been a thorn in our side.
“It’s not been good enough, we know that, and if we want to be challenging, we need to sort that out.
“But I think Saturday will be an open game and both teams will go for it.
“Falkirk need the points and I don’t think their fans will stand for them just sitting in and hoping to get a draw.
“So, they’ll open up and try to have a go.
“That should suit us and it should make for an entertaining
Caley Thistle manager John Robertson says the club’s swift decision to sack Riccardo Calder after being found guilty of attacking a woman allows the Highlanders to draw a line under the matter.
Inverness yesterday terminated the registration of Calder with immediate effect, following a guilty verdict at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Calder, 22, kicked and punched a 24-year-old woman, who he knew, and also swung a shoe at her leaving her with “significant” injuries in the Kings Heath suburb of Birmingham on May 7 this year.
Although Robertson declined to comment directly on Calder, with the club citing ongoing legal process in England, the Caley Jags boss says he is determined not to let the matter affect his squad’s preparations for tomorrow’s Championship trip to Partick Thistle.
Robertson said: “It can be viewed upon in various ways. We were aware that this situation was coming to a conclusion but what we were concentrating on is what we have to concentrate on – that’s the football.
“I cannot control matters outwith the football club. Part and parcel of being a manager is you have to deal with various situations that happen outwith the club.
“There are some you can help and advise on but you certainly can’t control it. My job is to get the players concentrating on football and football alone. That’s what we’ve been doing. game as well, because both teams need to win.
“We need the fans to get right behind the team and there’s no bigger game than a big derby to get right behind the team.
“And no bigger game for the boys to put in a performance and get the result, and then hopefully kick on at home as well.”
“It isn’t a situation we wanted to be dealing with but we’ve dealt with it. In terms of the football aspect, we’ve been on the training pitch trying to work with the players and keep them fully concentrated on what is a very important match for us.”
The former Aston Villa player had dropped the woman off at her car in the early hours of the morning, before she started following him along the road and collided with the back of his motor.
They both drove further along the road to a pub car park, where Calder began punching the victim several times through the open window. When she got out of her car, he continued the attack by kicking her and swinging a shoe at the victim, with the “sustained” attack recorded on a nearby CCTV camera. Calder will be sentenced on December 4.
With the transfer window closed until January, and fellow left-back Carl Tremarco sidelined with a thigh injury, Robertson could look to the free-agent market for a replacement for Calder, who made 46 appearances for Inverness after joining in summer 2017.
Robertson added: “There’s no doubt it leaves us stretched. In the past, through the loan rules this would have been deemed an emergency situation, but it is window-to-window.
“We may now look at if there any free agents or outof-contract players.”
Caley Thistle released a statement confirming the dismissal of Calder yesterday.
DISMISSED: Riccardo Calder was sacked by Caley Thistle yesterday after being found guilty of assault
Allan Johnston: Looking for better from Pars