East Fife’s Gary Naysmith hopes the availability of some key players will give his side a timely boost ahead of tomorrow’s home game against promotion rivals Queen’s Park.
The postponement of last weekend’s game at Elgin came at a welcome time for Naysmith, and at least three first team stars could be in back in contention following niggling injuries.
On loan Hearts defender Liam Smith has seen his loan deal extended and should take part in his first game since November, while both Alan Cook and Scott Smith are expected to return to the squad following ankle knocks.
But the Fifers boss has not yet ruled out the addition of some other new faces before the weekend as he strives to strengthen his squad.
“We’ve missed guys like Liam because he was out for three or four games and then he had a really bad virus, so it’s a big boost to start getting these guys back,” Naysmith explained.
“But we’ve still got a chance of getting one or two others in over the coming days, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
“We’re looking for players all over the park and I just think the squad needs two or three players in just to freshen things up.
“Once two or three come in, it might be the case that two or three need to go out to balance the books, but we can’t really lose anybody without bringing anyone in because the squad is small enough as it is.”
Naysmith was not naming any names with regard to targets, although it emerged earlier this week that they are in the running to sign Dundee United teenager Darren Petrie.
One player who has been signed and will surely excite the fans at Bayview is former Real Sociedad defender Julen Etxabeguren Leanizbarrutia, who is now available after signing professional forms with the Methil club.
The 23-year-old, who was in the Spanish giants’ squad of 25 players for the Champions League last season but did not feature, has been training with the Fifers for a couple of months as an amateur but is likely to start against the Spiders tomorrow.
However, Naysmith hopes their latest signing will not be affected by the hype.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him in action but I hope people have realistic expectations,” he continued.
“Just because he’s played in Spain with Real Sociedad, people might think he’s some sort of world beater but I think that’s unfair and puts a bit of extra pressure on him where it’s not needed.
“He speaks perfect English and training has been great, but he’s only really played one bounce game for us so it will probably take three or four games until we see what he can really do.”
Ross Campbell will be suspended for tomorrow’s game, while Naysmith himself expects to be back from his calf injury in a week’s time.
“I tried to play in the game against Arbroath but I just felt the injury and it set me back a wee bit unfortunately,” he concluded.
“Hopefully I’ll be fit for next week’s game.”