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Daily Record
Daily Record
Perthshire Advertiser

St Johnstone's Alex Ferguson feels his confidence is growing as East Fife loan shows great signs of promise

With every passing week Alex Ferguson feels his confidence is growing.

The St Johnstone youngster has been picking up plenty of loan minutes at Scottish League Two side East Fife and is now beginning to chip in at the top end of the pitch.

The central midfielder hit the headlines on Saturday by starring in a 4-1 win against Bonnyrigg Rose, netting twice and also providing two assists.

His first goal was a crisp strike after a clever turn from a right-flank throw-in before he showed composure late in the day to dispatch a near post finish to wrap up the three points.

Ferguson (19) was named in the SPFL team of the week and is hoping to use his weekend masterclass to push on further and impress both East Fife and Saints.

“I’ve let the ball roll through me, taken it past the guy and just thought I’d hit it,” he said of his first goal.

“It was with my weaker side but you might as well have a go?

“The second goal was slipped through to me and I’ve managed to finish near post in the last couple of minutes.

“You always want more goals and assists, so hopefully I can keep it up. It is something everyone looks for.

“The club watch all the games back and analyse them to see if we’re doing well – or not.

“For the supporters, I suppose they are looking to see if I’m scoring goals.”

He continued: “The loan has been good so far. I was straight into the team after signing.

“All I have wanted to do is play as many games as possible and impress people at St Johnstone.

“Everyone at East Fife has been really good with me, I’ve learned a lot already and I’m enjoying it.”

This is not Ferguson’s first loan. He has previously spent time at Edinburgh City and Cowdenbeath but this current spell appears to be proving more fruitful.

Ferguson told the Perthshire Advertiser: “Last year I was in and out of the team while on loan.

“But now I feel a lot more confident that I’m playing every week. I can keep trying to build every week.

“I speak to my mum and dad, who also said it was about playing games and getting them under my belt.

“At Edinburgh City and Cowdenbeath towards the end, when you’re out the team, you feel like you have something to prove coming back in but that can put more pressure on.

“I think it has definitely helped me that I’ve already been away out on loan, especially at two different clubs.

“It helps to bring your personality out more and of course helps on the pitch as well.

“To be fair, going out on loan does toughen you up and does make you a lot sharper.

“When I first went on loan, I thought the standard of football would be worse.

“But it’s actually good compared to what people might say. At East Fife, especially in the last couple of weeks, we have tried to play a lot. The boys are wanting to pass it about.

“It helps that I’ve played in every game and I think I will only gel with the guys more moving forward.”

Ferguson, who is from Gargunnock, realises there requires patience when attempting to steer himself into first-team starting contention back in Perth.

“You need to respect going out on loan, bide your time and work as hard as you can to get in the team when you go back,” said Ferguson, who revealed he is getting in the gym as much as possible.

“Hopefully I can keep playing and racking up the goals and assists. And hopefully here at East Fife the team can be fighting for the play-offs and promotion.”

That push for League Two honours is being boosted by another two loan youngsters from Saints in forward Taylor Steven and centre-half Liam Parker.

This weekend, a Scottish Cup second-round tie sees East Fife take on Stenhousemuir. Ferguson needs no reminding about how magical the competition can be.

He said: “Everyone wants a Scottish Cup run. We played Stenhousemuir in the league and they are a good side.

“We’ll need to be on top form if we want to get through.”

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