East Fife manager Gary Naysmith says his side are more than capable of climbing back into the promotion play-off spots in the second half of the season.
The Fifers boss has been disappointed with his side’s points haul over the first 18 games of their League Two campaign and admits the Methil club have had to reassess their goals as a result.
Ahead of today’s home game with promotion rivals Queen’s Park, however, Naysmith insists dwelling on what’s gone before is a pointless exercise at this stage of the campaign.
“There’s no point in going on about the first half of the season now, it’s done,” he stressed.
“The first half of the season wasn’t good enough and we’ve not got as many points as we had hoped or that we expected.
“I’m not making excuses, I’ve got to take the blame for that and the players have got to take the blame for that.
“But there’s no point in looking back, we’ve got to look at the second half of the season and try to get as many points as we can.
“Anything can happen but it seems like there are now seven teams in the league who are fighting for one place in the play-offs.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to get automatic promotion, but now we need to be realistic and target a place in the play-offs.
“We’re more than capable of finishing fourth and that’s got to be our priority at the moment.
“It’s the inconsistency that’s been the problem for us this season.
“No disrespect to anybody, but the same players who beat Arbroath at Arbroath ended up losing 3-1 to Clyde the following week, so it’s that inconsistency that we need to fix.
“Someone said to me earlier this week that the best performance they’ve seen from us this season was not at Arbroath but when we beat Berwick 3-2 down at Shielfield in the last minute, and maybe it’s that ‘never give in’ attitude that we need to have more of.
“It’s not always about great attacking football, we have to show the commitment and the desire that got us that kind of result.”
East Fife fans are likely to get their first glimpse of former Real Sociedad defender Julen Etxabeguren Leanizbarrutia, who should be available to make his debut after switching from an amateur to a professional contract.
On loan Hearts defender Liam Smith and Alan Cook should also be available after injuries, while Scott Smith will assessed ahead of the game after his recovery from an ankle knock.
Ross Campbell will miss out through suspension and Naysmith himself is likely to remain sidelined with a calf problem.