ALLAN Johnston has rejected suggestions Dunfermline are a team in crisis – and insists there will be no panic when they face St Mirren in tomorrow’s bottom-of-the-table clash.
The pair are rooted together at the foot of the Championship, with the Pars having lost their last five consecutive league games following an opening-day victory over Dumbarton.
St Mirren reacted to their own troubled start to the campaign by sacking manager Alex Rae at the weekend in a move that turns the spotlight on the Fifers, who will go bottom if they suffer a sixth straight league defeat.
However, Johnston is confident his League One winners, who were being tipped for a promotion tilt after strengthening in the summer, can haul themselves out of their slide by sticking to their guns.
He said: “It’s always a test of character. When you go through a slump that’s what it is.
“I don’t think we’ve been a million miles away, but we’re still being beaten and we need to address that. We need to get back to winning ways.
“We’re seven points away from third place and it’s September – so it’s not as if it’s a crisis, by any means.
“We’re well aware it’s not good enough. But I think, with the players we’ve got, we can definitely turn it around.
“You know what it’s like, after a few bad results everybody panics.
“That’s the last thing you can do. We’ve just got to get together and go out there and prove everybody wrong by getting the results we need.”
Dunfermline have faced a difficult fixture list, having taken on Queen of the South, Hibs, Raith Rovers and Dundee United – four of the teams currently occupying the top five spots.
However, last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Morton has sparked rumblings of discontent amongst the Pars fans, who Johnston has urged to stick with the side.
He added: “We’ve got a young team and, even for some of the experienced players, it’s not everybody that responds well to criticism.
“You’re looking for the fans to give you backing and to get behind the players, because we want to win and get back to winning ways.”