Naysmith wants immediate East Fife response

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Gary Naysmith has called on his side to once more show resilience and character as they head into a home double header.

East Fife host Arbroath and then Clyde back to back at Bayview after having just completed a couple of away fixtures on the bounce.

The most recent of those was on Saturday at Annan where the Fifers went down 2-0 on Galabank’s artificial surface.

Annan certainly make the most of the advantage their plastic pitch gives them, with East Fife failing to really get to grips with the underfoot conditions.

But all that changes on Saturday as the club returns to Bayview, undeniably one of the best grass surfaces in the Scottish game.

Naysmith is looking for an immediate reaction from the Annan defeat as he attempts to peg back the leaders.

“We have to dust ourselves down,” he said.

“The same as we did after we were beaten by East Stirling, we need to pick ourselves up and go again.

“You can see by the results on the league that everybody is beating everybody.

“Annan and Berwick are up to ten points and there are three or four of us on nine.

“It’s going to be that sort of league.”

The manager admitted it’ll be a welcome return to Bayview on Saturday and, more importantly, a grass surface.

The Fifers have been beaten twice this term in the league, on both occasions on artificial pitches.

“As a manager I need to look at myself and have a better plan B for when we go to those places,” conceded the manager.

“That’s two games on astro-turf, on a small pitch, where teams have played a 3-5-2 and we’ve not been able to get going.

“Listen, Annan are used to that surface, and I don’t want to look for excuses, but it’s not for me that surface.

“I don’t mean astroturf in general, I just mean that one.

“The amount of players slipping wasn’t right.

“You play on some of the other ones and Annan’s isn’t at that level.

“But that’s not an excuse, Annan worked hard and had a system that suited them.

“They also have a great home record and you have to be at your very best to get anything from them.

“We weren’t.”

Attention now turns to this weekend and Naysmith will look to get his players back on track.

Arbroath, one of three clubs who raced into a clear lead in the division last term, have made a bad start to the new campaign.

Todd Lumsden’s side have only one point from the five games played.

That point came thanks to a 2-2 draw against a Berwick side which had taken an early 2-0 lead.

Arbroath’s comeback in the Borders demonstrates they still have enough about them to pose difficulties this weekend.

“We do well at home,” said the manager.

“So having two games there is good for our players to go into.

“We got beat against Annan but I can’t really fault the players.

“We’ve been on a good run and will have to re-group and lick our wounds.”

Central defender Steven Campbell continued his return from injury and took his place on the bench in Annan on Saturday.