Not really. At the time it was too much too soon for johnston. It's like folk saying that they'd take jackson irvine back in a heartbeat, when, at the time, he was a donkey for all but 7 weeks he was here.
You, me, even gary locke would have done well at that qos. The only full time team in a part time league. Their chairman opened his wallet, because he wanted out of that league before the huns arrived.
As i said in the other place. I had the pleasure of sitting in front of a former player & manager with over 40 years experience behind him during AJ's formative managerial time with us, and he couldn't figure out what they were trying to do. At times, it was like watching a second division team get stage fright against a 'big' team. AJ's subs served only to 'freshen legs' there was absolutely no change in the tactics that the world and it's mother could see weren't working. Sandy Clark's pre match routines were woeful and served only to give some of starting 11 routines which may come in handy during the game. (I have since been told that Peter Leven's are worse.)
Had it not been for boyd we'd have sunk without trace.
So, before we start re-writing history to suit today's narrative, let's just think about what it was actually like with aj in charge. Shoddy start (took us 10 league games to record a win), period of recovery(season 2, without clark saw us up with the nosebleeds, before reverting to form), followed by a back to the future trilogy of manure. (2 wins over christmas & new year saved his neck, when all but a select few were calling for his head after getting horsed by the worst rangers team in a generation)
You're right about the 3 year deal for locke though. After suffering through the too much too soon times of aj, it was complete folly for such a deal to be given to locke.
What they have done is learn from the mistakes that were made while with us, and not repeated them. So, comparing aj's management with us then, and his management with the pars now is like comparing Mayim Bialik with a ball pein hammer. They are not the same thing.