East Fife boss hails entire squad’s attitude

Gary Naysmith (East Fife) and Tony Ralston (Queen's Park) in action at Hampden on Saturday. Pic: Jim Corstorphine
Gary Naysmith (East Fife) and Tony Ralston (Queen's Park) in action at Hampden on Saturday. Pic: Jim Corstorphine

This East Fife squad may be one the youngest in some time, but boss Gary Naysmith says it’s showing maturity beyond its years.

The attitude of the players has been hailed this week after yet another victory saw the club hit the top of the league at the weekend.

That was thanks to a 2-0 win at the national stadium as Queen’s Park were brushed aside.

It built on what was an impressive performance in midweek against Premiership Motherwell.

Boss Naysmith has been using his full squad across the past few weeks but, the manager revealed, there have been no hissy fits and tantrums from those who are not part of things on the field.

The manager said: “One of the great things about this squad is the way that everybody is right behind each other.

“When we came back into the changing room on Saturday you had guys like Declan O’Kane and Graeme MacGregor, who hadn’t played, just enjoying it and encouraging everybody.

“That was great to see and it’s something we didn’t always have last season.”

Nathan Austin again got his name on the scoresheet as he turned in another top class performance at Hampden Park.

His stock is certainly on the rise but, ahead of last night’s transfer window closing, the boss said he didn’t expect the striker to leave the Bayview club.

“It’s only been since the start of this season that he’s got a little more national attention,” said Naysmith on Monday.

“That was in part down to way he played against Motherwell.

“He’s a great lad, a good trainer and a listener and I believe that the best thing for him is to stay at East Fife this season in that number nine role.”

The manager revealed that is if someone is preparing a bid further down the line for his forward, they better be prepared to stump up heavy cash.

“I don’t anticipate a bid coming in for him, but anything can happen in football,” said Naysmith.

“But what I will say on that is if you look at what Dundee United paid for Simon Murray (£50,000 plus add-ons) then I think he’s worth more than that.

“So it’ll take a significant offer for us to even think about letting him go.”

The Fifers will look to cement their place at the top of League Two, and start to stretch even further away, when they visit Annan on Saturday.

The hosts have an admirable record at Galabank - something the boss is more than aware of.

“They are always a very well organised side and have a great record at home,” said the Fife boss.

“They’re two out of two there so far this season as well so that proves it’s a difficult place to go to.

“But I can honestly say we’ve never gone there with the sort of confidence within the squad like we have just now.”

Stevie Campbell will miss the match as he gradually works his way back to fitness.

The defender has had a set-back in his recovery with a calf problem halting progress.

Naysmith said the influential defender’s progress back to first team action would be taken slowly.

There are no further injury concerns.