East Fife need cup-tie mentality to salvage season

East Fife have five cup-finals to play between now and the end of the season if they are to retain their place as a League One side.

By Scott Inglis
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 9:17 am
Stevie Crawford is preparing his East Fife side for their final five games of the League One season

Comparing a one off league match to cup-tie is one of the oldest clichés in the football handbook but, for the Fifers, it’s precisely the case.

With a four point gap to make up, and with only 15 available, every game is as important as the next.

East Fife’s task was made that little bit more difficult on Saturday when a 3-0 loss to Alloa was compounded by both Dumbarton and Peterhead picking up points in their fixtures.

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"We have to win a minimum of two out of the five games and we can’t pick and choose which of those we’re going to win because we’re not in that position,” said manager Stevie Crawford.

"I was listening to Kieran Millar’s interview after the game on Saturday and he said it in a nutshell that they’re five cup-finals.

"That has to be the mentality going into these games.

"On Saturday I was low myself after because the game was a 3-0.

"But, having said that, I had done my prep work on the back of Clyde, when I felt we didn’t create enough chances, and wanted to go with two up front and get three in behind.

"That also allowed us to compete with Alloa and where I felt their strengths were.

"Brian Rice had changed to a diamond in the middle of the park with good football players in there.

"The boys competed for an hour but then we lose a horrible first goal.”

The Fifers have their work cut out but there’s still time to salvage their campaign.

To do that they must beat title chasing Airdrieonians at Bayview on Saturday, the Diamonds now locked in a two-way battle with Cove Rangers for the League One championship.

Their fight for the title is irrelevant to Crawford’s side who clearly need the win for their own reasons.

"Our last two results have been disappointing but we should use that as a catalyst,” added Crawford.

"Airdrie are in a great position and have had a great season but, on our day, we should be able to take points off anybody in this league.

"It’ll be a hard ask, there will be tough periods in the game, but we have to make sure we have the mentality to handle those.”