East Fife boss calls on side to maintain its high standards

The Fifers celebrate with Chris Kane after he netted the side's fifth goal during the 6-1 win at the weekend. Picture by Jim Corstorphine.
The Fifers celebrate with Chris Kane after he netted the side's fifth goal during the 6-1 win at the weekend. Picture by Jim Corstorphine.

East Fife set a terrific standard at the weekend when they demolished Airdrieonians 6-1 at Bayview.

Now boss Darren Young is calling on his players to maintain their levels as they head into the winter months.

Competition for places is fierce at Bayview which has been reflected in recent performances on the park.

While East Fife may not have taken as many points from the past few league games as they’d have liked, there were encouraging signs, with the side dominating in games and creating a host of chances.

That was the tale of the match again at the weekend, but this time things fell for them in front of goal, as Airdrie were hit for six.

Young reckons it’s an exciting time at the club with all of his squad on their toes as they scrap it out for a starting slot.

He said: “We have a lot of options in the squad now.

“The players know that if they’re playing well then they keep the jersey but there’s competition there and other guys on the bench who are all wanting to start games.

“If performances drop then I know there’s always going to be somebody else who I can bring in and give them their chance.

“Players aren’t happy when they don’t play but it’s a squad game.”

And the Fife squad is arguably at its healthiest right now than it ever has been since Young took over in the summer.

A series of injuries to key players have largely healed with those affected now back to fitness.

The potential in the squad was demonstrated in full view of the home fans on Saturday as full-time Airdrieonians were ruthlessly dispatched.

“Everything just came right for us,” said Young.

“We’ve been playing well over the past few weeks in the league but haven’t been taking our chances.

“We did on Saturday.

“That’s the first time we’ve had a really experienced team like that out on the park and it’s great to have them all back.”

One of the standout Fifers on Saturday was Kyle Wilkie.

After missing the end of last season and the start of 2017/18 through injury, Wilkie has gradually worked his way back to fitness and into the starting XI.

The midfielder bounced back to form and looked like the player of old with a dazzling display in behind Chris Duggan against Airdrie.

Wilkie helped himself to two of the six East Fife goals, and Young says it’s great to have him flying again.

“He’s a good player and really important for us so it’s important we keep him right,” said the manager.

“We took him off only as a precaution at the weekend.”

This Saturday it’s a trip to meet Queen’s Park in the league.

The Spiders prop up the division, but rarely go down without a fight.

Boss Young wants his side to go across to the National Stadium and again put on a good show.

He said: “If we can take the sort of form we showed at the weekend into the game then we have a great opportunity to pick up a big three points.”

Pat Slattery and Scott Linton are likely to miss out while Jordan Piggott has signed an extension until January.