John­ston: Pars must em­brace derby at­mo­sphere

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - SPORT -

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

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