Every game is vital to East Fife boss

Stevie Crawford has welcomed East Fife’s return to competitive business, saying he relishes the Premier Sports Cup ties against strong opposition.

Stewart Murdoch gets the better of East Fife's Kevin O'Hara during Saturday's cup tie. Pic by Kenny Mackay
Stewart Murdoch gets the better of East Fife's Kevin O'Hara during Saturday's cup tie. Pic by Kenny Mackay

The Fifers started their new season against Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday, the Pars bookies’ favourites to win League One.

A trip to Alloa Athletic, also of League One, was due to be played on Tuesday night as we were going to press before Buckie Thistle visit Bayview next Tuesday.

The group is rounded off with a trip to Premiership club Ross County before league business starts.

Crawford says he enjoys the competition and believes they can help his side develop ahead of the league season.

He did, though, admit that he still has work to do on adding to his squad, but reckons that’s something common across the game north of the border.

“I’ve always been one that goes into league cup games trying to win as many as possible,” said the Fife manager.

"I don't write it off and didn’t as a manager at Dunfermline.

"It’s a good competition and a very difficult competition.

"I listened to James (McPake’s) interview during the week after they had played Kilmarnock and he mentioned that Derek McInnes was struggling to get players at the moment.

"It seems to be something within Scottish football.

"But I enjoy these games and we just have to make sure we develop as a team and that I can see that progress.”

It was a changed East Fife line-up which went into Saturday’s game with manager Crawford blending his new signings with the club’s young players.

The manager is relishing the opportunity to help the young team develop.

"That’s one competitive game into the season with a lot of changes and younger players,” said Crawford.

"It gives me heart that the boys have been buying into the shape because we were under pressure at times against Dunfermline.

"There were a few good performances in Liam Newton and Brogan Walls but credit to Alan Trouten who is talking to them at one end and Kieran Millar the other.

"A defeat is a defeat and it’s not all roses having lost a game but we look forward to working with this group of players.”