Scotland have finally found a left-back to replace Gary Naysmith.
And it’s no surprise to the former Hearts and Everton defender that Andrew Robertson is the man for the role.
It only took him 15 minutes to realise the Glasgow-born lad had a massive future in the game.
The Scots tried a number of right-footed defenders like Steven Whittaker and Phil Bardsley in the No 3 shirt with mixed results. Robertson, however, looks like making the position his own.
The 20-year-old has made amazing progress since joining Dundee United from Queen’s Park, then making a £2.85-million move to Premier League Hull City in the summer.
East Fife player-boss Naysmith believes Robertson gives the Scotland defence a nice balance.
He said: “I only saw him live once. I watched him in a pre-season game at Forfar and after 15 minutes said to the scout next to me that if I had been there to watch him I would have just signed him.
“I’m not saying I was as good as him, but there are similarities because he defends by attacking. I didn’t care about defending at left-back when I was young, I just wanted to go forward.
“I remember the senior players at Hearts saying: “You’re always too high up, you want to attack and you’ve got to defend”.
“By the end of my career people would say that I was a far better defender than I was coming forward. I learned that playing in England and Andrew will be the same.”
While Robertson still has many years of football ahead of him, Naysmith’s appearances on the pitch are becoming more infrequent.
The 35-year-old has been named as SPFL League Two Manager of the Month for September and is happy to let his players take the credit.
He believes East Fife have the best part-time set-up in the country and that’s helped by a squad of dedicated helpers behind the scenes.
The Methil boss hopes his time working under Walter Smith at Everton helps him keep morale high.
He went on: “One thing I’ve always tried to take from Walter Smith is how he took an interest in all the staff. He would find out their names and about their families. Even if we’d had a bad result, it wouldn’t matter to Walter.
“He might have been unhappy with the players or the coaching staff, but the rest of the staff were always treated with utmost respect.
“That stuck in my head because the staff at the training ground were always saying what they thought about Walter compared to other managers who came before him or after him.
“I always thought if you could get the staff on your side, especially the staff who weren’t getting paid, it was really important.”
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