BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Cowdenbeath boss Liam Fox insists his side’s Betfred Cup campaign has been an invaluable learning curve as the Blue Brazil aim to put their first points on the board tonight.
Rookie gaffer Fox, 32, is still looking for his first win in senior management after enduring Group C defeats against Inverness, Dundee United and fierce Fife rivals Dunfermline.
A 6-1 reverse at Tannadice proved a particularly painful outing for his charges as they prepare for a tilt at the League Two title.
They travel to Arbroath this evening knowing a win will see them leapfrog the Red Lichties and climb off the foot of the group.
Former Hearts youth coach Fox said: “We have played against some really good sides and very good players and that is positive for me, because I now know where these players are.
“We won’t play against teams of the quality of Inverness, Dunfermline and Dundee United every week, so it has been a really good workout for us in the last couple of weeks.
“We can take a lot of positives, but there are many things we need to work on and need to get better at as well as we look at the game against Arbroath.
“Our priority has always been the league campaign and I think the boys will feel the benefit from these tough games when the League Two season starts. I’ve learned a hell of a lot about the players, which is vital.
“They will have learned plenty about me as well, which is just as important at this stage.”
Fox, meanwhile, has leapt to the defence of the new look League Cup, insisting the financial and competitive rewards of the summer group phase are preferable to a host of meaningless friendlies.
Rangers boss Mark Warburton is one of the detractors, recently stating the fixture congestion at such an early stage of the campaign is “inappropriate”. However, Fox believes it has benefited the Fifers.
He added: “For a club like ourselves, this is far more beneficial that playing friendlies. We are playing competitive games against some top players, in front of decent crowds, so it is financially positive for the smaller clubs too.
“Other managers might not agree, and I’ve heard one or two grumping and groaning about it, but my focus is on how it affects Cowdenbeath.”