BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
DUNFERMLINE manager Allan Johnston hailed the influence of Sandy Clark yesterday after his assistant joined him in signing a new contract.
Johnston is thrilled his long-term number two and his first-team coach, John Potter, have both agreed to remain in place for next season in the Championship.
The news comes after Johnston himself penned a new two-year deal earlier this week, with club captain Callum Fordyce also agreeing fresh terms yesterday.
Johnston, who led Dunfermline to the League One title last month after the same success with Queen of the South three years ago, is optimistic the Pars can put together a push for a promotion play-off place next term.
And he believes retaining the services of Clark and Potter, who himself had a spell as Fifers boss last season before returning to his coaching role, is crucial.
He said: “Sandy and Pottsy have been a massive part of what we’ve done this year, so I’m delighted to get them on board.
“You can see how hard they’ve worked behind the scenes, so I’m delighted with that.
“Myself and Pottsy are young, so it’s good to have somebody like Sandy who’s got that experience, who has been in the trenches, as they, before.
“It doesn’t always run smoothly, so it’s always good to have somebody who’s been there and done it before.”
Fordyce began the campaign as Dunfermline captain but has been sidelined since sustaining a horrific broken leg and dislocated ankle against Ayr United in September.
The 23-year-old was out of contract this summer but has signed a new three-month deal to allow him to return to full fitness at the start of next season.
Johnston added: “Callum was a massive player for us at the start of the season and was really unlucky with injuries.
“So, this is a chance for him to prove his fitness and get himself back to the level we all know he can compete at.
“Callum has just started running this week. It’s very early stages so, just now, we’re just hoping to get him back to the level he was at.
“He’s worked really hard in the gym and hopefully now he can start progressing really quickly.”
Having won the league title five weeks ago, Fordyce and his team-mates will finally get their hands on the League One trophy after tomorrow’s last-day encounter with Peterhead at East End Park.
And, in front of a large home crowd, Johnston has urged his side to go out on a high after failing to win their last three matches.
He said: “Saturday will be an occasion to enjoy. The boys deserve it because they’ve done amazingly well this season. It’s been an incredible season from start to finish.
“But we want to make sure the last result’s something special and to get a great result and a good performance.
“I’m sure there will be a massive crowd here – I’ve been told it’s almost 5,000 already – so hopefully we can finish the season on a high.”