RANGERS winger Fraser Aird believes the runaway League 1 leaders will face an East Fife side inspired by their club’s debut in front of live television cameras today.
The lunchtime fixture at Bayview, being covered by BT Sport, will see the Methil club take part in a nationally televised live game for the first time in their history.
Rangers are 21 points clear at the top of League 1 and on an unbeaten run of 32 matches in all competitions. They enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 win on their previous visit to Bayview in October but Aird expects East Fife, currently just three points above the relegation play-off place, to raise their game. “I think the game being live on TV gives their boys an added incentive to go out and prove something,” said Aird. “Every player tries to give a wee bit more when the game is on TV, that’s just a natural reaction from everyone. When we play in televised games, we find the opposition have an extra edge to their play.
“It’s another game for us in front of the live cameras and we want to try and play some attractive football to collect another three points. But it isn’t as straightforward as some people think it is for us in these games. We were disappointed to drop two points at home to Stenhousemuir last Saturday. We then had a tough game at Stranraer on Tuesday night on a heavy pitch, but we rolled up our sleeves and got a good 2-0 win. I’d imagine it’s going to be another heavy pitch at East Fife and it’s another tough game for us.”
Rangers, who have not lost in Methil since 1956, are again without virus-hit midfielder Lewis MacLeod but welcome French defender Sebastian Faure back after injury.
Meanwhile, East Fife chairman Lee Murray hopes the Fifers can put on a memorable show as they “make history” by hosting Rangers in the televised match. The men from Methil will become the latest side to attempt to end the Gers unbeaten League 1 record. Even for Murray, an experienced operator in the hospitality sector as managing director of a pub chain, the preparation for their home clash against the Glasgow giants being screened around the world has been a leap into the unknown.
Nevertheless, he can’t wait to welcome Rangers to Bayview, where they claimed a 4-0 win in October, and hopes the afternoon proves to be a positive showcase for East Fife, on and off the pitch.
Murray, whose consortium took control of the club last summer, said: “We only recently realised that this would be the first time Bayview has hosted an East Fife game live on TV, so that’s another first for the club and a wee bit of history we can make.
“It’s been something new for us all to get used to – all the rigging and the gantries and getting everything ready. It’s been a bit mad and hectic but you need to lap it all up. It’s been really good.
“I’ve done my share of event planning in the hospitality industry, but this has been something different. It’s my first experience with live TV and it is exciting for everyone around the place. The main thing is this is a great chance to show off the club.”