Allan Johnston insists Dunfermline can push for Premiership

Allan Johnston: Signed new two-year deal at Dunfermline. Picture: SNS
Allan Johnston: Signed new two-year deal at Dunfermline. Picture: SNS
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Allan Johnston insists he has signed a new two-year deal with Dunfermline because he believes he is capable of leading another promotion push in the Championship next 

The Pars manager, like the whole first-team squad, was out of contract next month after being granted only a 12-month deal when he arrived at East End Park last year charged with getting the club out of League One.

Having won promotion at a canter with five games to spare, the former Kilmarnock manager has so far convinced nine players to re-sign, including fans’ favourite Joe Cardle, defender Ben Richards-Everton and keeper Sean Murdoch.

And yesterday it was announced he had put pen to paper on a deal committing him to the Fifers until 2018.

Johnston said: “I’m delighted. I’d said to Ross [McArthur, the Pars’ managing director] I was wanting to stay anyway, so it’s good to get it over the line and get it sorted.

“But I did say this is where I wanted to be, this is a club that’s going in the right direction. You can see that everybody wants to be successful.”

With assistant Sandy Clark and coach John Potter also expected to sign new deals in the coming days, Johnston added: “I want to be successful and that’s why I’m signing here. If I thought we were going to be struggling down the bottom of the league then I wouldn’t have signed.

“The board want that as well. It’s a good fit. I want to be up there near the top end of the league. It would be amazing if we could get into the play-offs in our first year back in the Championship. That would be the target but we know it’s going to be difficult, because there’s a lot of quality teams.

“But there’s no reason, with the quality players we’ve got, and the players we’re trying to bring in as well, that we can’t be up there challenging.”

McArthur said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve actually put pen to paper now.”