The bigger the gap the better is Jim Weir’s mantra as Forfar face up to one of their play-off rivals at Station Park this afternoon.
The Loons currently enjoy a four-point cushion over today’s opponents and an eight-point one over Montrose.
But the memory of a strong position disintegrating when he was manager of Elgin City will help him maintain his focus in the League One run-in.
“We lost Shane Sutherland at Elgin about this time of year a couple of seasons ago,” he recalled. “And we went from contending for the title to dropping to fifth and not even making the play-offs.
“We want the gap to be as big as possible.
“It’s been a really good week so far, with us winning and results going our way on Saturday and in midweek.
“Hopefully we can continue that. We haven’t played our best in the games against East Fife but we deserved more when we played them last time.”
Weir added: “East Fife are really going for it. They’ve strengthened by bringing in Chris Higgins and Stewart Murdoch. This a big test for us.
“We’re in a strong position just now but you can’t afford to look too far ahead.
“At the moment the highest we can realistically get is second and that’s where we’re aiming for.”
Weir has a full squad to choose from.
East Fife manager Darren Young will give Higgins his debut after securing the services of the experienced defender from Ayr United for the rest of the season.
Young is hoping that the former Motherwell, Clyde, Dunfermline and Queen of the South stopper will help deliver a top four finish.
He said: “I was made aware earlier this week that there was a chance that Chris could come in and we manged to get it completed after the Arbroath game on Tuesday.
“As well as having lots of experience Chris is a great organiser and a great talker. He had an immediate impact when he joined the squad for training on Thursday night as everyone stepped up a notch.
“He will be involved at Station Park and we are hoping that he is the final piece in the jigsaw in terms of us ending the season in a play-off place.”
The Methil men head to Forfar looking to get their promotion campaign back on track after not winning in the league during February.
Young believes his team deserved more than their draw against Arbroath in midweek.
“We played well on Tuesday and carved out a number of chances as well as having the penalty,” he reflected.
“Unfortunately our pressure at the start of the second half did not get a second goal and then Mark Docherty’s late penalty was saved.
“It really was a case of what might have been. It is frustrating as we could have been going to Forfar looking for the win that will take us above them in the table as opposed to still having to play catch-up.
“Apart from their recent result against Montrose they have been on a great run so this will be a tough encounter. We do have games in hand still to play but I would much rather have the points on board than games to play and winning this one would be a good way to do that.”
Chris Kane sits out the second game of his two-match suspension but Ross Dunlop could return.