East Fife must thrive on the challenge

East Fife showed in patches on Sunday against high-flying Montrose that they don’t lack the quality to cut teams open.

By Scott Inglis
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 3:09 pm

And the belief they can continue to do that from week to week can help drive the club out of bottom spot, according to boss Stevie Crawford.

The manager says the players must keep their heads high ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Airdrie.

Had it not been for a couple of excellent saves from Montrose goalie Aaron Lennox, the Fifers may well have take a lead in with them at the break at Bayview.

Kyle Connell was impressive for East Fife until he saw a late red card. Pic by Kenny Mackay

It’s all ifs and buts, but Crawford said his side must continue to build on the positives from every performance.

"I know you don’t win games of football on stats but we’ve had an equal amount of chances as Montrose did, but they took their chances and we didn’t,” said the manager.

"It’s about the boys, albeit we’re at the bottom of the league, having a belief in themselves and that we all stick together.

"The one thing I’ll drum into them is that they have to continue giving everything.

"If they continue giving everything, we’ll turn the corner.

"The minute I smell that’s not the case, then that’s when there will be problems with the players and myself.”

Crawford bolstered his ranks in the hours before the game with the signing of ex-Falkirk and Dunfermline midfielder Ryan Blair.

The manager has worked with Blair since he was in his teens and reckons he’ll prove a valuable addition to the squad.

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"For Ryan's first game, people will have seen he’s a good football player with a lovely left foot,” said the boss.

"Hopefully, he has goals in him to bring to the team and he’s also a good set-play taker.”

Attention now turns to Saturday’s journey to Airdrie, a side Crawford watched beat Queen’s Park 1-0 recently.

"Airdrie were very good on the night, especially in the first half, so it’s going to be a big task for the boys but you want to thrive on that,” said the manager.

"There’s a feel-good factor in wanting to take the challenge on and not feeling sorry for ourselves.

"We have to remain disciplined as well because if you’re not getting the rub of the green, it’s easy to lose the discipline.”