Craig Morrison watched Saints well beaten 3-0 by Musselburgh on Saturday - and admits it’ll be even tougher to get one over them when the two meet again this weekend.
Despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half of their match at Barnetts Park at the weekend, ‘Burgh still had more than enough in hand to take all three East Premier League points.
Musselburgh will again make the trip across the Forth this weekend when Saints play host for a DJ Laing East of Scotland Cup meeting.
And although Morrison said he expects a reaction from his side, he conceded that things wouldn’t be easy.
He said: “Musselburgh are a decent side as their league position shows.
“But we had three players missing, a goalkeeper, full back and striker and ideally I’d liked to have had them available to me.
“We played ok.
“Musselburgh have just come down from the Super League and I’d be very surprised if they’re not up there challenging at the end of the season.
“They were sharp and moved the ball very well.
“We created a few chances but didn’t do enough.”
Things should have been easier for Saints given the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the first half.
But, given their quality, the visitors were able to adapt pretty quickly.
“It didn’t seem to affect them,” said the Saints boss.
“They’re a really experienced side so knew what to do, when to speed play up and when to calm things down.”
Musselburgh may have taken the maximum points from Fife, but United can get swift revenge over them at the weekend.
Again, though, the manager doesn’t have his troubles to seek on the playing front.
“The players who we have missing on Saturday are all unavailable again plus there will be another two,” said Morrison.
“It’s frustrating and I think I’m going to have to bring a couple of trialists in.
“But I’ll put out a team which I feel is still capable of winning the game.
“The preparation has already started in training and we’ve gone over how important it is that we start the game well.
“We know the areas we have to work on.”
Kick off at Barnetts Park on Saturday is 2.30pm.
Following the weekend’s cup tie it’ll be a return to league business for Saints.
On September 9 the side travels to another of the league’s early season form sides, Fauldhouse United, at 2.30pm.