East Fife manager Gary Naysmith hopes his side can shake off any signs of ring rustiness as they aim to rise up the League Two table this evening.
The Fifers face Albion Rovers in tonight’s rearranged game, having played just two league fixtures since the turn of the year due to the weather, although they did earn two creditable draws against Albion’s fellow title contenders Queen’s Park and Arbroath in those matches.
Still, the frosty conditions have frustrated Naysmith and his men, who have been thanking their lucky stars that the means to train indoors at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh has kept them ticking over.
“It’s not been ideal having another weekend without a game,” he told The Courier.
“We did try to play East Stirling in the game that had to be rearranged but for whatever reason East Stirling didn’t want to play us, so it just means that we’ll have to play that some midweek.
“We had a game lined up against Dundee’s Under 20s on Friday night but that was called off, so the weather has been causing us a lot of difficulties.
“It’s not an excuse, but it has been very difficult to build up some consistency and it’s like when players maybe go in and out of the team with injuries or whatever they might play two or three then miss two or three.
“When that happens it is very difficult for players to get the level of consistency you are looking for, to get to the level where they are playing a seven or eight out of 10 every game.
“That’s what we’re looking at just now, and when the league gets around to fixing the fixture list for the games that were cancelled it will be the exact opposite because we’ll be playing midweek, Saturday, midweek and that puts a different pressure on the squad.”
The League Two table after the weekend’s games does not exactly make good reading for East Fife fans, as Elgin’s win over Albion on Saturday pushed the Methil club down into ninth spot just three points ahead of bottom East Stirling.
However, the Fifers do have games in hand on the teams around them in the table and will be hoping to climb the standings with a decent result at Cliftonhill.
Naysmith continued: “I’d rather have the points on the board, don’t get me wrong, but you could look at it and say if we draw against Albion we go up two places in the league, if we win we go up three.
“In the two games that we’ve had this year, and that sounds ridiculous in itself having played just two games, we’ve had two really good results against two of the title challengers, Arbroath and Queen’s Park.
“So for us it’s about building on these two performances.
“We know it’s going to be difficult because Albion Rovers have got one of the best home records in the league and they’ve got one of the best defensive records in the league.”
On loan Dundee United striker Ola Adeyemo will be added to the squad and could be in line for a debut, although
forward Caolan McAleer is doubtful after picking up a knock against Arbroath last time out.
Fraser Mullen also returns after his suspension.