WHILE the attention of many is focused on Celtic's efforts to obtain

the services of Lou Macari, second division Cowdenbeath are having

similar problems after having appointed John Reilly as their manager

earlier this week.

Former Dundee United and Motherwell striker Reilly is under contract

to the end of this month as a player with East Fife, who have banned him

even from visiting Central Park today.

He has sought the help of the Scottish Professional Footballers'

Association to resolve the matter but, meantime, former Rangers and

Motherwell player, Bobby Russell, who has been appointed assistant to

Reilly, will take charge.

Russell would have preferred to stay on the sidelines as Cowden take

on Queen of the South but the absence of Colin Harris, with a back

strain, and Paul Hunter, with flu, may persuade him that his services

are needed on the field.

Cowden are trying to end a run of 27 league games (29 in all

competitions) since they last won at Central Park, whereas Queens are

unbeaten away from home and the only doubt that manager Billy McLaren

might have is that the last visiting team to lose at Cowdenbeath were .

. . Queen of the South.

Equally troubled are Queen's Park, bottom of the league and hammered

6-0 at Berwick last week.

Coach Eddie Hunter said: ''I still have one or two injury problems and

cannot make many changes -- I just don't have ready-made replacements.

Last Saturday is over and done with, and I can't be too hard on

youngsters who are new to senior football.''

Experienced defender Graeme Elder and new striker Brian McPhee may be

back after injury for the Spiders' home game against East Stirlingshire,

who gained their first away win -- at Cowdenbeath (where else?) -- last


Alloa, having acquired three new front players who all featured in

their 3-0 win at Forfar last week, will hope to demonstrate that

improved firepower again when they return to Angus.

This time they visit Danny McGrain's Arbroath, who gained a first away

win last week at Albion Rovers.

Forfar hope to get back on the rails and manager Tommy Campbell signed

Scott Kopel from Brechin during the week. He is likely to play today at

Stenhousemuir, where Forfar already have lost 3-1 this season in the

league cup.