BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
DUNFERMLINE manager Allan Johnston insists he is not ‘bothered’ by the prospect of killing off Ayr United’s title challenge tomorrow – because he knows the League One trophy is the Pars’ to lose.
The Fifers enjoy an 11-point lead over the Honest Men with just eight games remaining and would surely end their hosts’ slim hopes of an end-of-season challenge if they can win at Somerset Park.
However, the East End Park boss is keen to keep his players’ sights set firmly on their own job as they seek to clinch promotion back to the Championship for the first time since relegation in 2013.
He said: “I’m not really bothered about whether it kills off their hopes.
“We’ve just got to focus on ourselves. It’s all about what we do.
“I’m not looking to see what it will do for Ayr, it’s about what it will do for us.
“It would put us in another great position, and Peterhead are obviously still pushing as well.
“It’s great for us when you’ve got teams pushing you, because it keeps your focus on the games you’re playing and keeps that intensity in training and the performance levels high in the games.”
The Fifers passed up the opportunity to stretch 13 points clear at the top of the table when they could only draw 1-1 with Albion Rovers on Tuesday night.
However, Johnston insists tomorrow’s trip to Ayr is the perfect way to recover from that blow.
He added: “It was a disappointing result. Just with the position we’re in, we expect to win every game we play in, no matter who we’re playing against.
“But we’ve won five and drawn one of the last six games we’ve played and we’ve scored a lot of goals, and not conceded a lot of goals.
“So, there’s a lot of positives there as well.
“Tuesday was an opportunity but you can say that about every game, every three points. Unfortunately, you can’t win every game.
“It’s a great one to bounce back in as well, a game against Ayr. It’s the type of game as a player you want to play in and want to be involved in.
“There will be a good crowd and a good atmosphere, with two teams who want to go and win the game, so it’s a game we’re all looking forward to playing in.”