EAST Fife are being left increasingly short at the back due to injury and suspension heading into the final five games of the Second Division season.
The Methil men missed the chance to pinch fourth place from Stenhousemuir on Saturday as the race for the play-off spots heats up.
But the draw may be the least of East Fife’s worries, as defender Andrew Cook suffered a possible season-ending injury and David White was ordered off and will now serve a ban.
Defender Steven Campbell, who was also missing from the East Fife squad on Saturday, will be asked to quickly step up his recovery at training this week.
Speaking to the Mail on Monday, boss Gordon Durie said: “It looks like Andrew Cook has done his hamstring, so with any type of injury like that you’re looking at a few weeks at least.”
“I thought big David was unlucky with his second booking on Saturday as well, and we’ll miss him.
“Stevie Campbell started training again on Thursday but obviously wasn’t ready for Saturday.
“Hopefully he’ll have a good couple of sessions this week and be okay for the weekend.”
Durie added that he was left frustrated that his side had been unable to capitalise on a stunning start on Saturday.
Ryan Wallace put the Methil men ahead after just a few minutes, but the Fifers were unable to hold on to their advantage, conceding a late penalty which was converted by Brown Ferguson.
The manager couldn’t hide his anger at the final whistle, claiming the penalty award had been cruel on son Scott who could do little to get out of the way of a Stevie Murray drive.
This weekend the Fifers face off against Dick Campbell’s Forfar, a side who are involved in a play-off battle of their own at the other end of the table.
“I’ve heard people saying that we’re in a good position because three of our last five games are against the bottom three sides,” said the gaffer.
“But those teams are fighting for their lives, so it’s going to be difficult for us.
“Forfar is never an easy place to go and get a result anyway.
“I thought we were poor the last time we went up there, and got beaten 3-2, so we’ll need to improve on that.”
The manager added that midfielder David Muir is another who will step up his return from injury this week and is expected to play a part in Saturday’s visit north.
Off the park the club has already announced details of next season’s proposed change kit.
A blue shirt with a St Andrew’s cross design on it, similar to the jumper made famous by the golfer Colin Montgomerie, will be released for fans.
It’s hoped that it will be available for supporters before the start of the 2012-13 season.
For further details, or to see the shirt, please visit the East Fife website.