ALLAN JOHNSTON intends to take Dunfermline back to the upper echelons of Scottish football after being appointed manager at East End Park.
The 41-year-old has signed a one-year contract with the option of an extension if he is successful. Johnston admitted Dunfermline underachieved by finishing seventh in League One this season and stressed he wants to take the club into “higher divisions”.
Johnston was removed as Kilmarnock manager in February having announced his intention to leave Rugby Park at the end of the season. After three months out of football, he said he was delighted to take charge at Dunfermline, a move which allows caretaker manager John Potter to revert to first-team coach.
“It’s a great opportunity; it’s a big club and obviously last year there’s no hiding the fact that we underachieved,” said Johnston. “For me, it’s a club that’s got to be trying to get back to where it should be, which is where it belongs in the higher divisions.
“It’s not going to be easy but you can see with the ambition of the supporters and the directors that everyone’s got to be successful here and, for me, it was the perfect opportunity to get back in the game.
“When you look at the way everyone’s rallied around the club in the last couple of years, you can see the potential the club’s got and that was the main reason for taking the job. As a manager, I’m ambitious and I want to go to as high a level as I can, and I think I can achieve that with Dunfermline.”
In a statement on the club website, the Dunfermline board explained the level of interest in the job.
“We received over 75 excellent applicants for the vacancy, but it was evident that Allan was the outstanding candidate. Even before interviewing Allan, the board undertook extensive research by speaking to many respected people within Scottish football and it was clear that he was very well regarded.
“From our discussions, at an early stage our ambitions closely met Allan’s and it is obvious that he has a steely determination to succeed at Dunfermline Athletic Football Club.”