BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
ALLAN Johnston is fully aware Cowdenbeath will be hurting from their Dundee United hammering and has urged his Dunfermline side to avoid suffering their own painful 90 minutes.
The Pars travel the short distance to face the Blue Brazil in their Fife derby on Saturday afternoon seeking to build on Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Arbroath in their opening Betfred Cup tie.
At the same time as the East End Park outfit were easing to victory, Cowdenbeath – who started the competitive action with a 2-1 defeat to Inverness Caley Thistle last Saturday – suffered an uncomfortable 6-1 thrashing from United at Tannadice.
Johnston admits Central Park is not the most hospitable of grounds at the best of times but is hopeful his team can negotiate a tricky tie against opponents who were relegated to League Two last term as the Pars won promotion to the Championship.
He told Capital City Press: “I think all the boys enjoyed being back to the real stuff on Tuesday, with the crowd there and everything, and a good atmosphere, and obviously it was important to start with a win.
“But there’s no easy games. I saw Cowdenbeath against Inverness and they made it really difficult. With the pitch and the surroundings it’s always a difficult place to go.
“And I’m sure they’ll be well fired up after their result on Tuesday against Dundee United.
“But it’s a game we want to win, of course. I’m sure we’ll take a big crowd there, we always seem to, and we don’t want to let the fans down.
“We want to get a win and keep the performances coming.”
Many managers have talked of having to treat these new League Cup group stages as an extension of their pre-season preparations ahead of the league campaigns kicking off in a fortnight’s time.
However, Johnston insists he is not about to write off the competition as Dunfermline build up to their forthcoming ties against Inverness on Tuesday and Dundee United next Sunday.
He added: “We’re not 100 per cent yet but I thought we were really good in the second-half on Tuesday night. We passed the ball through them, created loads of chances and could probably have scored more goals.
“You want to do well in the cup competitions. Whatever competition you’re in, you want to do as well as possible, you want to try to win every game.
“Winning’s a habit, so it’s important you win these games ahead of the league starting.”