Fifers could still reach third place

David Muir in an aerial tussle for East Fife
David Muir in an aerial tussle for East Fife

JOHN Robertson insists his East Fife side can still top the small band of teams battling it out for third place.

The Fifers were sitting just one point behind fourth-placed Stenhousemuir as the Mail went to press before last night’s fixture against Forfar, with a further eight separating the local side from Dumbarton.

However, the boss reckons it’s a points gap which can be bridged between now and the end of the season.

Speaking to the Mail on Monday, he said: “The top two look as if they’re away but then you have Dumbarton, Stenhousemuir, ourselves, Brechin, and I’d also say Airdrie aren’t out of it yet, playing for the rest of the places.

“One of the most frustrating things about the Dumbarton defeat was, if we’d won that game, that would have really put us right in the mix for third place, never mind fourth.

“It didn’t happen, but I still think we can catch Dumbarton.

“We just need to put some results together and see where it takes us.”

Saturday saw the Fifers notch a 2-0 win over an Airdrie United side who finished the game with only nine men on the park.

The manager said he felt the referee got the majority of big calls correct, and also hailed his players for keeping their cool while the Airdrie players appeared to lose theirs.

He said: “We spoke to the players about retaliation earlier in the season, when David Muir got himself sent off after a bad tackle on him.

“Airdrie are a young team who put it about, so we told them to be careful not to get caught up in anything and just play around them.

“The longer the game went on, the more frustrated Airdrie became, but our boys didn’t get involved.”

Following last night’s trip north, the Fifers now have second-placed Arbroath in their sights at the weekend.

However, despite being able to shuffle his pack last week, following two games in the space of a couple of days, the manager doesn’t see himself being able to do the same this time round.

He said: “You can only do that if you have the numbers, but since then, Scott Durie has injured himself and will be out for a couple of weeks.

“Paul McQuade his ripped a tendon and looks like he’ll be out for a month, and John Ovenstone has hurt his ankle, so he’ll be out for a couple of weeks as well.

“It’ll mean that young boys like Jamie Devlin, Ross Brewster and Ross Brown may get their chance on the bench again.”