GARY Locke has warned number one Kevin Cuthbert he has a fight on his hands to win the gloves back at Raith Rovers.
Cuthbert has been sidelined with a troublesome dead leg since the win over Ayr United six weeks ago.
With back-up keeper Aaron Lennox also then ruled out with a hamstring strain, Locke was forced back into the transfer market last month to snap up freed Kilmarnock goalie Conor Brennan.
Cuthbert (pictured above) returned to training this week and is likely to be deemed fit enough to face Queen of the South on Saturday.
But manager Locke insists Brennan, who he knows from his time as manager at Killie, does not deserve to be dropped.
He said: “Kevin’s been on the bench the last few weeks and he’s had a full week’s training.
“But big Conor has come in and done well. He’s got the jersey at the moment and it’s up to Kevin, and Aaron when he’s fit, to try to get the jersey off him.
“For me as a manager, if you come in and do well then you deserve your place in the team.
“We’ll have a look at the side before Saturday and we’ll decide what we’re going to do but Conor has come in and done well.”
Raith will seek to bounce back against on-form Queens after losing their unbeaten league run in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at home to Falkirk.
The game brings Locke face to face across the dugouts with former Kilmarnock team-mate Gavin Skelton, who has steered the Doonhamers to four wins and a draw so far in the league and into the Betfred Cup quarter-finals in his first full campaign in management.
Locke added: “I know Gav quite well, having played with him at Kilmarnock. They’re flying at the moment.
“Gav was always a great lad in the dressing room, a fantastic team-mate. I could certainly have seen him going into the coaching side of things.
“He was an experienced player at the time and he had an opinion, which was great.
“He’s a fantastic lad and I’m delighted to see him doing well – just not hopefully too well this weekend.”