THE international induced break probably could not have come at a better time for Cowdenbeath.

With Scotland in action against Germany on Sunday in a European Championship qualifier, Cowden were spared league action and after two home defeats the break allowed manager Jimmy Nicholl to have a think over the back-to-back poor home performances against Alloa Athletic and Raith Rovers.

The results left the Fifers in the bottom slot in the Championship table and with consecutive games with the Capital’s two sides, Hibs and Hearts, over the next fortnight the difficulties posed by this season’s second tier are striking home to the Blue brazil followers.

Mr Nicholl described his side’s performance against Raith as ‘horrific’ and he is looking for a massive improvement against Hibs at Easter Road this Saturday.

The Hibees themselves have not had a great start to the campaign. They have lost their last three league games and in all probability, a Cowden win at Easter Road would plunge them to the foot of the table.

But to achieve that the Blue Brazil will have to greatly improve on their last two showings.

Mr Nicholl has been really shocked by the way the team played against Alloa and Raith, “These, for the main, are the same players who produced a string of excellent performances in the closing part of last season which saw us stay up.

“And at Falkirk in the League Cup, and against the Bairns in the league here, we showed we can compete but against Alloa and Raith Rovers we did not play well at all. It is simply not good enough and we have to see a big improvement starting against Hibs at Easter Road.” Before the window closed the manager moved to bring in three players and the move saw a player return to Central Park where he starred as a youngster.

Anthony Higgins(18) is the younger brother of striker Sean and after appearing as a trialist in the pre-season has been signed on a short term contract until January.

Pat Scullion (28) is back at Central Park for a second spell. The Dunfermline based midfielder was part of the side who won the Third Division Championship in 2006.

He went on to score seven times in 77 games before moving to Alloa in the close season of 2008. For the last three years he has been playing for Clyde but left the Broadwood Stadium side last week by mutual consent.

The close of the transfer window saw Jimmy Nicholl sign forward Calum Gallacher (19) on loan from Championship rivals Rangers until the New Year.

The Glasgow born forward, who will turn 20 on 13th September, was signed by Dundee United as a 13 year old and spent a year in the Arabs youth system. In September 2010 he joined the Rangers youth set up and signed his first professional contract.

Cowden will be without Kenny Adamson against Hibs, who faces an operation and then there will be a recovery period which will take some weeks and Sammy Stewart, who is on the mend.

Striker Craig Sutherland will see a specialist about his knee injury which is showing no signs of improvement.

However, the news is better about Nat Wedderburn, who trained on Monday, and skipper John Armstrong who is ready for action.

On Monday night Mr Nicholl signed midfielder Colin Marshall from Japanese football but on Wednesday discovered that he could not get FIFA clearance for him as he had been signed as an amateur by his club.

On Thursday night the boss signed Celtic 20 year-old Marcus Fraser on an emergency loan deal.

The defender will go into teh squad for Easter Road.