East Fife are giving up on nothing ahead of Falkirk's visit

East Fife may be eight points adrift at the foot of League One but boss Stevie Crawford remains bullish about his side’s chances of avoiding relegation.
Stevie Crawford.Stevie Crawford.
Stevie Crawford.

Defeat at Dumbarton on Saturday saw East Fife slip further behind those above them.

Manager Crawford is only too aware of the scale of the task facing his side.

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With 15 games of the season still to go, though, there are more than enough points up for grabs if East Fife can somehow kick into gear.

But the manager isn’t oblivious to the problems in his side.

At Dumbarton on Saturday, the Fifers fell to a 2-0 defeat, Sons’ second goal coming just 10 minutes after their first.

Losing goals in quick succession has become a regular theme this season and Crawford admits his side must be stronger.

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"It doesn’t matter in what division you play, in a game you’re always going to have testing periods in a match,” said the boss.

"It’s that bit, when we’re having a testing period, or something goes against us, that we have to be mentally stronger.

"I demand that from the players on the training pitch because if there becomes an acceptance, then you’re in trouble.

"Since I’ve come in, I’ve been demanding from them and it’s about continuing to do that because, the minute we come off it, then that’s like me holding my hands up and surrendering to what we’re facing.”

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Crawford picked the bones out of Saturday’s loss in the hours and days following the match before turning his attention to preparing for this week’s home match against Falkirk.

The game will be the first of three played in a row at Bayview and the manager is looking for a positive response from Saturday’s loss to Dumbarton.

"I would have loved to have won the game on Saturday, with the points difference being down to two, but it’s not,” said Crawford.

"It’s a tough ask but I’m going to fight for everything we can get between now and the end of the season so I expect that of everybody in the building at East Fife.

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"We have 15 games to do it, it’s not like we’re down to three of four.

"There are 15 games to show character and a belief.”

The first of those 15 games comes at Bayview on Saturday as East Fife play host to Martin Rennie’s Falkirk.

Crawford has called on his side to lift themselves and relish the encounter at home.

"I don’t want the players sulking and feeling sorry for themselves, because that will only end one way,” he added.

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"It’s about challenging them and seeing who has a spring in their step because I’m convinced if they’re willing to take the challenge on in the way we can then, defensively, that wee bit of luck changes and they stop hitting the target and we get the wee breaks.

"That only happens with a clear mindset and remaining positive.

"I’m aware of Falkirk’s attacking threats and how Martin Rennie and Kenny Miller are setting up.

"They seem to have had quite a settled side the past few games.

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"It’ll be challenging but when you’re bottom of the league every game is tough.

"The mentality going into the game has to be that we can take something from it because if we don’t believe then it’s going to become a long season.”