Barry can’t wait to get started

East Fife New Manager Barry Smith at New Bayview. Pic by G McLuskie.
East Fife New Manager Barry Smith at New Bayview. Pic by G McLuskie.

Barry Smith is relishing the challenge of securing East Fife’s safety in League One this season.

The former Dundee manager, who guided the Dark Blues to their greatest ever unbeaten streak of 23 games back in 2010, was picked to be the man to replace Gary Naysmith by the club’s board this week.

He joins an East Fife side with a fresh confidence after picking up two wins from their past two games.

At the same time, though, the club does still sit just the one place above the relegation play-off area and has work to do to ease away from the drop zone.

That’s the immediate challenge for Smith and his side, and it’s something the new boss is itching to get his teeth into.

He said: “Gary did a very good job here and it’s now about me continuing that and trying to get the boys up the table.

“They’re sitting third bottom just now and we want to stay clear of those play-offs and push on.

“First and foremost we have to get ourselves away from that position.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us but I like challenges.”

Smith will take the reigns for the first time this weekend when the club entertains Peterhead.

They’ll be aiming to make it two league wins on the bounce after picking up all three points at Brechin City on Saturday in front of the TV cameras.

The 1-0 win impressed the new boss.

“The attitude was terrific, they never gave up, kept pressing players and chasing things down,” said Smith.

“With that kind of attitude you can’t go far wrong.

“It’s a good group here.

“I know some of the players and the togetherness they have can work very much in your favour.

“It’s about getting the best of them.

“I’ve played against a few of the players here and have a really good idea about them.

“The fact a lot of them have played together for a few years can stand us in good stead.”

Although the short term survival is league safety, Smith has much higher ambitions for the club.

“The priority is staying in the league at the moment but for me, we want to be better than that,” he said.

“They’ve just been promoted and the first season in can be a tough one.

“It’s been an ok start but it’s been tough.

“So we want to stay in the league this season and then push on as much as we can.”

East Fife have a chance to go above Jim McInally’s Peterhead if they beat them on Saturday.

He’s an opponent Smith knows well.

“I played with Jim atDundee and know how he sets his teams up,” said the boss.

“It’ll be a difficult game because they’re a side who’d be expecting to do better.

“There are a lot of good players in that team and guys who have played in the Championship.

“But although it’ll be a difficult game we want to be positive and get the three points to keep us moving in the right direction.”

With Naysmith taking his assistant Dougie Anderson to Queen’s, Smith is expected to announce his own backroom staff imminently.