GORDON Durie’s dug-out debut has seen him officially inducted into the “sleepless nights” club.
Bayview boss John Robertson was unable to make Saturday’s fixture at Brechin because of illness, so handed the reins over to assistant Durie, who led East Fife to a 2-0 triumph.
The manager, who was missing a game through illness for the first time in his career, was quick to congratulate his stand-in, who admitted afterwards that his imminent appearance had caused an evening of tossing and turning.
Robertson told the Mail on Monday: “I phoned him afterwards to say well done and also to welcome him into the sleepless nights club.
“He said it was funny I should say that, because his wife had been laughing at him for spending all Friday night asking ‘what if this or that happens?’
“But Saturday was good for Gordon’s development and it was good that the boys got right behind him, because it was an important three points to get.”
The manager added: “I spoke to the players on Tuesday and said I wasn’t feeling great, and then on Thursday we went through all the things that we normally do.
“By the time it got to Friday, I spoke to all the players again, because David Muir, Robert Sloan, Paul McQuade and Craig Johnstone were struggling with injuries and we needed to make a decision on the team.
“We knew we’d have to bring in a couple of youngsters for the bench so, after I’d spoken to Gordon to say ‘I’m not going to do tomorrow’, I sent texts to every player in the squad and spoke about what was required.
“They all replied, saying they were up for it, and have made it easy for Gordon.”
This Saturday, the manager will be back in the dug-out for the visit of Davie Irons’ Stenhousemuir.
Robertson reckons that Warriors’ gaffer Irons has packed his side with some decent quality.
He said: “They have a very, very experienced squad with good players from back to front.
“Stuart Kean and Andy Rodgers both scored against us the last time, and then they also have guys like Paul McHale, Eric Paton, Martyn Corrigan and Kevin McKinlay.
“Davie Irons has really gone for quality over quantity and they’re going to be a tough nut to crack.”
The game signals the first of three home fixtures for the club in four weeks, with the gaffer hoping his men can use it as a springboard for a 2012 promotion surge.
“We need to use these games to try to put as many points on the board as we can and maybe create a bit of a gap between those below us going into the New Year,” said the manager.
“We’ve had a lot to contend with, through Scott Dalziel, David White, Robert Sloan and Steven Hislop being injured, Andrew Cook in China and also losing Mark Ridgers and Rob Ogleby on international duty.
“But we still managed a great run in the cup and we’ve also been able to keep picking up the results.
“If we can get these players into positions, then we can keep up the pressure.”