We have plenty left in reserve

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THE contribution made of late by East Fife’s fringe men has been praised by Bayview boss John Robertson.

The manager pointed to the efforts of some of his squad members, who have grabbed their chance in the starting XI following changes made on the back of poor performances.

And Robertson is now urging those still left on the sidelines to make sure they too force their way into the top team set-up.

The manager said: “A few weeks back after the Cowdenbeath game (which East Fife lost 4-0) we looked at one or two of the players who were left out and were desperate to play.

“So the likes of Craig Johnstone, Steven Hislop and Robert Sloan have come in, played really well – and that’s what we want.

“Steven Hislop in particular has been excellent for us, really since he came on against Falkirk, and he’s one who hasn’t really being playing a lot of games.

“But these players have come in and taken their chance, and now we want to see the likes of Scott Dalziel and Paul McQuade putting pressure on them to get in the team.

“We have a squad of 18 players and really any one of them could play; there are always places up for grabs.

“One or two players have been doing really well but one or two haven’t, and we’ve had a chat with them about it.

“The difficulty myself and Gordon (Durie, assistant manager) have is which two to leave in the stand, because we can only pick 16 players.”

Saturday’s scheduled fixture at home to Brechin City fell foul of the weather, with the Bayview pitch frozen.

The manager told the Mail the players were instructed to visit a local gym in a bid to keep up their fitness.

This weekend, the Fifers will visit Coatbridge to face Albion Rovers, a side Robertson’s men have only recently played, coming out victorious with a tough 2-0 home win.

The manager said: “We will have to play well.

“In the last game, I thought we were excellent in the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes, but we really had to battle for the rest of the game.

“That’s the one thing about us that moment; we’re battling really hard.

“If we can get that bit more consistency at either end of the park, then that will see us where we want to be.”

Ryan Wallace will return from injury for the game against Albion Rovers, with David Muir’s on-going injury troubles making him the only possible East Fife doubt for the trip west.