Fife boss still making a case for the defence

Fraser Mullen and Jamie Beaton guard the East Fife goal.
Fraser Mullen and Jamie Beaton guard the East Fife goal.
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A centre half remains top of Gary Naysmith’s shopping list as he looks to rebuild his Methil squad ahead of the big kick-off.

The manager told the Mail that, following Saturday’s 3-0 friendly loss to Fulham, the need to bring in extra cover at the back was obvious.

The manager added that he hopes to tie up deals for former Hibs duo, defender Scott Smith and midfielder Jamie Beaton, this week.

“Hopefully by Wednesday we’ll have Scott and Jamie signed,” said the Bayview gaffer.

“The squad is getting bigger and bigger and there’s still enough to get another couple in if needed, but I’m quite happy with where we are.

“Kevin Rutkiewicz still isn’t back from the injury he had at the end of last season so we need to get him looked at by another specialist.

“If he’s going to be out for a bit of time it’s only fair we get another centre half in.

“Although I’ve played there and Scott Smith has played there we’re both naturally left backs.

“That may be a position we need to strengthen.”

Despite going down to the English Championship club, boss Naysmith said he was pleased with the exercise.

Attention will now turn to tonight’s visit to Bayview by the current Scottish Cup holder, St Johnstone.

Naysmith said it would be another welcome exercise on the route to the start of the season.

He said: “We’ll re-group now and see who’s injured.

“We were going to train on Monday but we already have some injuries and the lads look really tired so we may just thinking about coming into the game on Wednesday.

“But it’s another great game against the cup holders.”

Steven Campbell and Nathan Austin missed Saturday’s game due to holidays while Jon McShane was carrying a knock.

Continued on page 46.