League opener was always going to prove tough

Paul McManus is as busy as ever during the weekend's 2-2 draw.
Paul McManus is as busy as ever during the weekend's 2-2 draw.
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Gary Naysmith says there was too much expectancy on his side ahead of Saturday’s opening day draw with Albion Rovers.

The Methil men had been made bookies favourites to take all three points from the game.

But despite taking the lead twice, the Fifers were unable to close out the win.

Boss Naysmith, though, reckons a victory over Darren Young’s side was never likely to be a given.

He said: “People maybe expected too much of the players.

“We were playing a side which came up the season before and had established themselves in the league.

“They’ve enjoyed success for two years and were barely out of the top five last season.

“We need to be realistic.”

Despite this, the gaffer admits he was disappointed to have taken just the one point from the match.

“We created a lot of chances which really pleases me,” he said.

“We scored the goals, had one cleared off the line and hit the post.

“Jason Kerr had another which he put over the bar as well.

“In terms of possession the game was maybe pretty even, but they didn’t create anywhere near the chances we did.”

The Methil men travel to Peterhead on Saturday, a side the Fifers have already beaten this season.

A 2-1 win over the Blue Toon in the League Cup will no doubt breed confidence ahead of the weekend’s game.

Peterhead are amongst the favourites to top the table this season, but took a heavy beating from Alloa at the weekend, losing 4-0.

Naysmith said: “We can’t look too much into our game with them earlier in the season.

“We know it’ll be difficult, they ended up winning our League Cup group, they have some good players and the best goalscorer in the league.

“You can see how they’re lining up before the game but Jim McInally is the type of manager who’ll switch his formation three of four times during the 90 minutes.

“So we’ll treat them with respect.

“Alloa beat them 4-0 but that doesn’t give us any right to go up there and just think we’re going to win.”

The Fifers are expected to again be without striker Chris Duggan who continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Naysmith says it’s important the striker isn’t rushed back.

“Chris is progressing well,” said the manager.

“We have a schedule we’re working with and will take our time.

“It’s not like we rushed him back the last time, but if he does break down again then at least we can say we did everything right.”

The manager himself is also struggling to make the weekend’s fixture at Peterhead but expects Tony Wallace to continue his recovery from injury.

“We need to get some games into Tony,” said Naysmith.

“With three quick games coming up (Peterhead, Arbroath and Alloa) it’ll be a good chance to do that and also use the whole squad.”

Two players who won’t be part of the manager’s short-term plans are Brodie Gray and Jordan Austin.

Both youngsters headed out to McBookie.com Super League side Dundonald Bluebell last week.

The Fife boss said: “We wanted to get them out to Super League level and had contacted the clubs.

“It looked as if we would have to go down a level but then we spoke with Stevie Kay, the manager at Dundonald Bluebell.

“He knew both players and was keen to get them.

“At the weekend we heard back that Brodie was unstopable for 90 minutes against Camelon.

“In the end they had to double up on him.

“Jordan also did well.

“I’ll go out and see them this week on Wednesday against Kelty Hearts because I think that’s important that we watch them.”