East Fife aim to start 2022 on a positive note
Stevie Crawford is keen to draw a line under 2021 and start the new year on a positive note.
A 4-2 Boxing Day defeat away at Cove meant the Fifers ended the year bottom of League One, five points adrift of ninth place Dumbarton and seven from Alloa Athletic in eighth.
The size of the task facing Crawford’s men in 2022 is clear for all to see but it’s by no means a lost cause for the Bayview side.
They’ll go in to the new year with a fixture at home when Stewart Petrie’s Montrose arrive as the club’s first footers.
Mo are flying at the moment and will visit the kingdom second in the division.
Crawford is remaining upbeat about his side’s survival hopes and wants to lay a foundation to put a run of results together on January 2.
“It’s going to be a new year that comes,” said the manager.
"I’m a positive person, I can’t let a 4-2 defeat up at Cove get into the boys in terms of their own personal confidence.
"Collectively, I have to take responsibility and make the team stronger on the pitch.
"I thought against Cove, when you look at the first-half and the last 10 minutes, we were under pressure and saw that spell out.
"That’s the character that I need from the team.
"Hopefully we’ll have a few players back for the Montrose game and then it’s onwards and upwards to fight this battle to the end.”
East Fife arrived at Cove on Boxing Day down to the bare bones in terms of their playing squad.
Illness and injury hit the side during the week with goalkeepers Jude Smith and Scott Gallacher both missing.
Attacking options were also stretched with Kevin Smith, Ryan Wallace, Jamie Semple and Kyle Connell all absent.
The club has also confirmed this week that winger Andrew Osei-Bonsu has left Bayview.
Osei-Bonsu’s contract was due to expire next month and the two parties have decided to sever their ties.
Crawford added: “Things haven't worked out as expected for Andy at East Fife.
"I didn't see him as part of my plans in the longer term and, with his contract expiring in January, we felt it was only fair to allow him the opportunity to find another club as soon as possible.”