Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston hoping to pay tribute to late director Margaret Ross with Falkirk win

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ALLAN Johnston hopes Dunfermline can pay the best possible tribute to the late Margaret Ross by wrapping up a Boxing Day win over Falkirk.

Ross, a hugely-respected director at East End Park, passed away suddenly earlier this month after suffering a brain seizure.

As part of the Pars United movement and chair of the Pars Supporters Trust, the 66-year-old had played an instrumental role in helping to save the Fifers from administration in 2013 and was subsequently co-opted onto the club’s board as a fans’ representative.

There will be a minute’s applause before Monday’s clash with bitter rivals Falkirk and Johnston is desperate to then honour the much-loved figure with a victory.

He said: “Margaret did a lot for the club and had Dunfermline at heart. The amount of work she did, especially when the club was struggling, was fantastic.

“She helped out the players, helped out the club and was constantly trying to raise funds.

“Speaking to the likes of John Potter, all the hard work she put in behind the scenes when the club went into administration was incredible.

“Since I’ve come to the club, she’s always been trying to help me in any way she could. She was at every game – 20s and first-team – and had made Dunfermline her life.

“So, she’s been a big part of the club in the last few years and she’ll be sorely missed by lots of people.

“There are lots of reasons for wanting to win on Boxing Day but it’s a special game and I’m sure she would have loved to have been there, and hopefully we can win.”

FAMILY

Meanwhile, Johnston has gifted his squad time off on Christmas Day in the hope they repay him with a win.

The Pars boss could have made his players report for training on Sunday to finalise preparations for the visit of Falkirk 24 hours later.

But he has opted to instead allow them to spend the big day at home with family.

He added: “I’ve given the boys Christmas Day off. You’ve got to trust the players to do things right and I don’t think it’s a big deal to give them one day off.

“You’re training all the way up to Christmas anyway, so I don’t think giving them one day with their family will make a big difference.

“I’ve done both as a player. I’ve had days off and I’ve been in through Christmas, and sometimes it’s a wee bit of an anti-climax if you’re in on the day.

“I’ve had games where we’ve won and games where we’ve lost, so it’s hard to say what the right thing to do is.

“I just think it’s one of those days that is better spent with the family and to trust the players to make sure they are ready for the game. I’m sure they’ll be well up for this game.”

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