DUNFERMLINE manager Allan Johnston insists he is determined not to lose the services of John Potter after the coach was reported to be a frontrunner to become the new East Fife boss.
Potter, the Pars’ under-20s and first-team coach, who also had a spell as Fifers manager two seasons ago, is said to be in the running with Mark Burchill to replace Gary Naysmith at Bayview Stadium.
The 36-year-old is highly regarded for his work within the youth set-up at East End Park and was a target for St Mirren when Jack Ross was seeking a new assistant back in October.
And Johnston, who issued a ‘hands off’ warning to the Buddies on that occasion, is desperate to again hang on to Potter should East Fife make a move.
He said: “It’s not something I’m aware of but I said before when St Mirren were interested that we wanted to keep Pottsy.
“He’s a big part of what we do here, not just with the under-20s but with the first-team as well.
“So, we wouldn’t want to encourage him to leave and I would imagine he would want to stay.”
Meanwhile, Johnston has spoken of his frustration in the wake of the red card dished out to defender Lewis Martin during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Ayr United.
The Scotland under-20 stopper was shown a second yellow card shortly after half-time when referee Barry Cook adjudged him to have held down Scott McKenna in the box.
Johnston insists it should not have been a penalty or a booking but was disappointed to discover no appeal was allowed.
And he insists the Pars are being unfairly punished by Martin’s suspension for tomorrow’s clash with Morton, on top of the penalty and playing with 10 men against Ayr.
He added: “I spoke to John Fleming, the head of refereeing at the SFA, and unfortunately we couldn’t appeal Lewis’s red card because of the offence reported by the referee.
“It’s frustrating, because we lose Lewis. I think [Fleming] conceded himself that it wasn’t a sending off and it wasn’t a penalty.
“But we’ve had Lewis sent-off, we lost a goal and had to play more or less 45 minutes with 10 men – and now we get doubly punished because he misses the next game as well.
“It’s a lot of punishment for a mistake.
“You can understand why they say you can’t appeal certain kinds of yellow cards but when it’s resulted in a sending-off there has to be a bit of common sense as well.”