The 41-year-old had a four-hour operation to remove his gallbladder during the week and was recovering at home – but voiced an intention to pitch up at Easter Road for the visit of his former club, with Joe Newell’s goal sealing a somewhat nervy first three points on home turf of the Scottish Premiership season.
McAllister was standing in for Johnson along with co-assistant boss Adam Owen and first-team coach David Gray, but had to dissuade the manager from trying to get along to the stadium.
Speaking after the game, McAllister laughed as he told of the manager’s intention to defy medical advice and attend the game ahead of his scheduled return to work.
“He was talking about coming in for the game, actually. He texted me on Saturday morning saying he felt a lot better,” he said.
“I told him to stay away and I’d see him next week!
“He said he might pop in next week but his health is most important, and that he looks after himself.
“I think he might have popped a few stitches. He was on the phone to David Gray throughout the game so we were in constant contact,” McAllister added.
It can take three to four weeks to recover fully from gallbladder removal surgery but it sounds as though Johnson may fancy his chances of returning to work sooner.