We’re set to bounce back

Mark Hurst has returned to Bayview on loan from St Johnstone.
Mark Hurst has returned to Bayview on loan from St Johnstone.

Darren Young has challenged his players to go out and prove the 5-0 derby defeat to Raith Rovers was nothing more than a blip.

The Methil men have been recovering after the loss for well over a week, with no league or cup fixture played on Saturday.

Despite the heavy defeat, Young is still confident in the quality he has in his side, and wants his players to show it this weekend when Queen’s Park visit Bayview on League One duty.

He said: “We know we let ourselves and the fans down in the Raith game.

“But we went into that game on the back of positive performances against Alloa and Arbroath so we can’t let ourselves get too disappointed.

“We organised a bounce game against East Stirling during the week as well which has helped get things out of our system.

“There’s been a good reaction from the players this week and they’re all keen to show it was just a blip.”

Gus MacPherson brings the Spiders to Fife on Saturday, with the Hampden Park side having lost three and drawn one of their opening four games.

And the Fifers will do it with a familiar face back in the ranks, with Young adding ‘keeper Mark Hurst, who spent last season on loan from St Johnstone, back for a second stint at the club.

“It’s great to get Mark on board,” said the manager.

“The chairman was really good in getting the deal done and has helped us out.

“Bringing him too the club adds even more competition in that position which is healthy for us.”

And it’s that level of competition Young reckons can help the Fifers reinforce their position in the division in the weeks ahead.

“Jonathan Page was back and got a good 90 minutes under his belt last week,” said the manager.

“Kevin Smith is the only real concern we have at the moment.

“It means we’re looking at having a good, full squad to choose from again so the players know they have to perform to keep their place in the side.”

Despite their poor run of early season results, Queen’s Park are unlikely to arrive at Bayview in much of a mood to give anything away cheaply.

MacPherson’s sides are always well drilled, and the Fifers may need to be patient while they probe away to get the breakthrough in the game.

“We’ll start in a formation to go out and win the game,” said the manager.

“They haven’t won a game yet so will be desperate to get something and kick start their season.

“But we’re looking to kick on ourselves again and want to get back to the level of performance we showed against Alloa and Arbroath.”

East Fife will go into the game without skipper Kevin Smith who recovers from an operation in pre-season.

Chris Kane, Mark Lamont and Jonathan Page, who have all missed chunks of the start of the new year, are back in contention.

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