Battle heating up for starting place

Scott Smith in action for East Fife against Albion Rovers
Scott Smith in action for East Fife against Albion Rovers

GORDON Chisholm has challenged his out-of-favour players to force their own way back into East Fife’s top team plans.

The Methil side used the closing day of the transfer window to bring in three new faces, Scott Smith (20) and Jordon Forster (19) from Hibs, plus Paul Willis (20) from Dunfermline.

All three have experience at reserve level, while Willis also featured in the SPL last season.

Their arrivals will obviously see competition for a starting shirt heat-up and assistant boss Chisholm admitted some players have already voiced their frustration at being left out.

He said: “We’ve brought in the three players because we’re needing more bodies in for competition.

“They’re only young and I’m sure they’ll get better with the experience of playing.

“We have boys now who are not happy that they’re not in the team, but that’s what you want, and it’s up to them to force their way back in.

“But if we play the way we did against Albion Rovers it won’t be long until they are.”

Chisholm couldn’t hide his disappointment at the poor 2-1 home defeat to Albion Rovers but did reveal that some of his squad had been suffering with sickness.

“Paul McManus came out of his bed to play and we had others who couldn’t play because there is a bug going around.

“But we got off to a great start and I hoped we’d go on to build on that, but we didn’t.

“We never showed the character that I expected us to.

“When we got the goal, you need to take the game by the scruff of the neck but we never did that.

“I wasn’t happy with our application.”

The Fifers are out of action this weekend because of the international break.

Assistant manager Chisholm said he expected boss Gordon Durie to soon make his return to Bayview after recovering from illness.

He said: “We spoke before the game and he told me he was thinking about coming back, but we decided to leave it for a few days.

“We’ve got the international break now and he’ll be back down at training.”

East Fife’s youth development team has also scored a victory off the park.

The scheme collected the Community Initiative Award at the Kingdom FM Local Heroes ceremony.