Coaching staff can only help our young players

Gary Naysmith urges his side on along with Dougie Anderson and Paul Hegarty.
Gary Naysmith urges his side on along with Dougie Anderson and Paul Hegarty.

Gary Naysmith has urged East Fife’s young guns to feel the full benefit of assistant Paul Hegarty’s experience at the club.

After being installed as caretaker boss last week, Naysmith was swift to back himself up with the veteran coach.

The dug-out duo, who are also being helped by coach Dougie Anderson, had an immediate impact as they guided the Fifers to a 1-0 home win over Stenhousemuir.

With East Fife boasting an academy full of full-time youth players, and with many of the first team still in their early 20s, Naysmith wants them to take on board any advice handed down by Hegarty.

The boss said: “I’ve known him for so many years, he was my reserve manager at Hearts.

“Everything that he’s telling the players now he was telling the players back then, and I said to them that I took on board so many of the things that he told me and it helped get me to where I got to as a player.

“I think they should listen to the things he’s telling them because he knows far more about coaching than I’ll ever know.”

Naysmith said that he’d enjoyed his first match in the dug-out despite a late spell of Stenhousemuir pressure as they game reached its conclusion.

“We got the goal, I thought Liam and Gary Fisher linked up very well,” he said.

“I thought we should have had a penalty as well.

“I said to the referee that Ross Brown is an honest lad and wouldn’t dive but he said from where he was it, looked like it, so we let that go.

“They put on an extra striker in the last 10 minutes and it was backs to the wall.

“But what people are forgetting is that we’d only won three games in 17 and their confidence was low, so it’s only natural they’d be a bit nervy.

“But in terms of effort, desire and commitment, they gave me everything.”

Turn to page 39.