We’ll return stronger says East Fife boss

Jamie Insall plans on paying back the faith shown in him by Gary Naysmith.
Jamie Insall plans on paying back the faith shown in him by Gary Naysmith.

Gary Naysmith isn’t too downbeat that his East Fife side are facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

Having exited the Scottish Cup already, the Fifers were left without a game as the third round was played at the weekend.

The side expected to return to action this Saturday but, with scheduled opponents Queen’s Park drawing their cup tie with Forfar, that replay will take priority.

Whilst the Bayview gaffer wants to get his side on the pitch again sooner rather than later, he does admit there are some benefits to the enforced lay off.

He said: “On Thursday last week, if we’d have been playing on the Saturday then we’d have been without Stevie Campbell, Pat Slattery, Ross Brown and KevinSmith so we have extra time to get them back.

“Jamie Insall is also suspended so that would have been five players missing.”

The Fifers moved quickly to get the Queen’s game rescheduled, with the club confirming on Monday afternoon that it will now be played on Tuesday, December 8.

The Fifers would naturally have preferred to have been involved in the Scottish Cup on Saturday but Naysmith said it als presented an opportunity for his players to recharge their batteries.

“There are lads that have been playing in every game so we gave them the weekend off,” said the boss.

“It was a chance for them to spend a weekend with their families in the run up to Christmas.

“The players who are all coming back from injury all have programmes to do.

“On Saturday we’ll have everyone back in and will train at Bayview.”

One piece of bright news from Bayview this weekend was the extension of Jamie Insall’s loan from Hibs until January 17, 2016.

Insall featured on numerous occasions for the Hibernian development squad before joining the New Bayview side.

The striker scored on his home debut for the Methil men in the 5-3 win over East Stirlingshire before being sent off shortly afterwards.

Naysmith says Insall, signed by the Hibees from English non-league side Bromyard Town, can play a huge part for the remainder of his loan spell.

He said: “I’m pretty sure that if he had been playing up at Elgin then he’d have stuck two or three of the chances in and around the six yard box that we created away.

“I was speaking to him and he said that, of the 42 goals he scored last season, 30 were from inside the six yard box - that’s exactly what we need.

“We held a meeting between ourselves and the players and went over the things we’ve been doing well, and what we need to do better.

“One of the things to come out of it was that we can’t keep missing chances.”

Naysmith has used the loan market well in his time at Bayview, having managed to convince established Premier League sides such as Hibs and St Johnstone to send their youngsters out to Fife.

The boss says there’s no great secret behind those clubs’ confidence in East Fife.

“I’ve used my contacts to bring loan players in and they all know that East Fife is a really good and well run football club,” he said.

“The club treats them well and people from other clubs know we’ll look after their players here.”