ALLAN Johnston has revealed Dunfermline are treating the threat of Buckie Thistle so seriously they have booked an overnight stay to prepare properly for the ‘cup final’.
The Pars will at least travel north for the Scottish Cup third round tie in better spirits after last weekend’s 1-0 league victory over St Mirren ended a run of six matches without a win.
But their hosts currently sit top of the Highland League with 14 wins and just one defeat from their 17 outings, and have seen prolific striker John McLeod rattle in 32 goals so far this term – including five in the previous round against Gretna 2008.
And Johnston is determined his players will not underestimate the Jags as the Fifers bid to win back-to-back matches for the first time since July.
The East End Park manager said: “We’ve had them watched a couple of times. They’re top of the league, they won the Aberdeenshire Cup, they’ve got guys up front who can score goals – one who’s scored 32 already – and goal-scorers can find the net no matter what level they play at.
“We’re well aware of their good players and the problems they can cause us.
“But it’s about attitude going up to places like this and playing in smaller stadiums or on pitches where the surface isn’t quite as good.
“You can’t make excuses, you’ve just got to deal with it and it’s about how you cope with things like that.
“It’s a really tough test and we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re going up the night before and preparing properly because it’s a long journey.
“It’s like their cup final, so you need to make sure you’re up for it and hopefully if we work as hard as they do, if not more, then the quality will shine through.”
Dunfermline had won just twice in the league before securing their second victory of the campaign against bottom side St Mirren last weekend.
Johnston is convinced their performances have merited more but he is eager to see his side build on their Paisley success.
He added: “Hopefully that’s the springboard for us to start getting results and getting up the table.
“We’re starting to bring other teams into it as well in the league and we’ve now got an opportunity to get back to where we want to be.”