ALLAN JOHNSTON admits Dunfermline’s mouthwatering league opener has been given added spice by the decision of Nicky Clark and Fraser Aird to jump ship for Dundee United this summer.
The Pars travel to Tannadice for an enticing Championship kick-off that mirrors the clubs’ play-off clash at the tail end of last term.
With United prevailing in that one but losing out to Livingston, both squads have been overhauled significantly in search of a winning formula that can bring promotion back to the Premiership.
Clark was Dunfermline’s top scorer and Aird their form player at the end of last term and were wanted on new deals at East End Park before opting to instead sign for the Tangerines.
And, with defender Mark Durnan joining the Fifers after being released by United, Johnston believes there will be extra incentive on both sides to start the new campaign with a bang.
He said: “There have been a lot of changes at United but that’s similar to ourselves as well. And it’s good players they’ve brought in.
“It’s always a wee bit special when you play against boys who have been here before and the two boys did well for us last season.
“I’m sure they’ll get a bit of stick, but it will be the same for Mark Durnan as well – he was there and he’ll get a bit of stick as well.
“That’s part and parcel of football.
“It would be good to show them they did the wrong thing in leaving – it’s an opportunity for us to show that we’re a good team.
“Tannadice is always a hard place to go and I’m sure they’ll be fired up and desperate to turn their season around.
“So, we’ve got to make sure we match that energy and spirit and show the quality we’ve got and why we’ve started the seasons so well.
“We’re going into the game full of confidence. I think there’s a lot of pressure on United as well after the way they’ve started the season.
“So, it’s a great game to start with.”