BILLY Brown insists his East Fife side deserve to be already relegated – but he has urged them to grab the lifeline offered by the play-offs he does not agree with.
The Methil men came through the first of two nerve-shredding ties against Third Division opponents when they eventually saw off Berwick Rangers with barely a minute to spare in extra time at the weekend.
Their eventual 3-2 aggregate victory set up another two-legged showdown with Peterhead, starting with tonight’s encounter at Bayview.
However, Brown is not a supporter of the play-off system to decide promotion and relegation. Despite the fact it would have resulted in his own team having been already consigned to the bottom tier of Scottish football, he insists the team finishing the league campaign second bottom in the table should automatically be replaced by the one finishing second top in the division below.
The former Hearts and Kilmarnock No 2 said: “I’ve never been involved with them before but I don’t like play-offs. I think if you finish second in the league you should be promoted and if you finish second-bottom in the league you should be relegated.
“You play all season working towards that. I don’t look at it from my own point of view, I just think that’s the way it should work. And if we had been relegated then so be it. We deserved to be where we were. But play-offs seem to be the big thing and it seems I’m one of few who don’t like them.”
Stevie Campbell and Collin Samuel have both missed training due to knocks, but Brown reckons they will make kick-off, with Darren McCormack available after an injury as well.
Peterhead manager Jim McInally has praised his injury hit squad for the way they are approaching the match as no-one has volunteered to drop out despite many carrying knocks. The Blue Toon have been missing Callum Macdonald, Davie Ross and Martin Bavidge long term and McInally ended the season with a threadbare squad.
McInally said: “Our dressing room is full of tired players that are getting patched up and playing with a host of strappings, but they have been terrific. They have won ten games in a row despite these injuries and hopefully they can rise to the occasion in our last two games.”
As well as the injured trio of MacDonald, Ross and Bavidge missing out, midfielder Ryan Strachan is sidelined after being sent off at the weekend.