Fifers wary of the wounded animal

Billy Brown
Billy Brown

BILLY Brown hopes his East Fife players can show him they have found the key to consistency when they take on Stranraer at Bayview on Saturday.

The Fifers’ manager lost his first game in charge of the club but went on to win the next two before an enforced free weekend, through being eliminated from the Scottish Cup, halted their climb up the league.

Speaking to the Mail on Monday, Brown called for his players to make it three wins on the trot, by defeating a side they hammered 6-2 when they last met in September.

He said: “Obviously, the 6-2 game was before my time; it would be nice to get that result again but they are in a precarious position, the same as we are, so they will come here and make it very difficult for us.

“We’ve had them watched and know all about them. They are coming off the back of a 5-0 defeat by Dundee United, but that could happen to any team when Dundee United are on song.”

Should East Fife win, they would open up an eight-point gap between themselves and their visitors, who are currently bottom, but Brown is more concerned with those above rather than looking down.

He continued: “The aim is to get up the table as far as we can.

“When I came here three weeks ago we were joint bottom, so we have improved on that, but it’s like all the leagues in Scotland – there are no easy games.

“I have only seen them three times but, if we play as well as we did in the last game against Arbroath, then we would take a wee bit of beating.

“Consistency is something that’s not been there this season so my aim is to try and get some, and then we will see what happens from there.”

Brown had hoped to get his squad together over the weekend for an extra training session but, with the weather taking a turn for the worse, it was decided just to give the players some time off to recuperate.

He added: “We would rather have played, having won the two previous games, but we have quite a lot of injuries, so it did give us a wee chance to maybe get one or two back. It wasn’t a disaster.”

Paul McManus will miss out on Saturday and Gareth Wardlaw is doubtful.