BRIAN RICE said his team were exceptional on Saturday and praised his players for their positivity.

The Wasps defeated Peterhead 1-0 thanks to a Kevin Cawley goal and put themselves seven points clear of the relegation play offs.

Rice said: "I thought the boys were exceptional in the second half. We started the game really well, lost our way for 20-25 minutes but I thought in the second half that's as good as we've played.

"We created a lot of chances and if it wasn't for the goalkeeper of Peterhead we could have had a few more goals.

"We got a wee bit of luck when Peterhead hit the post but I think, with our second half performance, we deserved to win the match."

Rice started with plenty of goal threats on the park and was happy with their endeavour.

He continued: "That's how it should be. All I say to them is the objective is to score more than the opposition and that's what we're trying to do.

"I hate negativity, I don't like the ball being played back the way, I want us to play forward, be on the front foot and I want to see the boys enjoying it.

"You enjoy it when you go and try and win games, score goals, shots and crosses and I want to enjoy it as well. I did enjoy it [on Saturday]."

After recording his first win in his fourth attempt, Rice said: "It's great credit to the boys because they're buying in to what I want to try and do.

"We haven't got a lot of time to work together, it was 10 games [left] before I came in, so I've got to get them enjoying it, I've got to get them wanting to come to work and put the effort in.

"They've certainly done that, I've got some talented players in there. I asked them for two things, I asked them for a clean sheet and I asked them to win the game and I got both. I'm pretty hard to please but I'm happy."

After playing a different style on a terrible pitch, Rice was pleased with his team's effort on a better park.

He continued: "The surface is great, we train on it so we're used to it. Some of the stuff we played, especially in the second half, was really, really good.

"It's okay playing good stuff but you've got to put an end product to it and we did. We had shots, we had crosses, we had goal attempts. I hope everyone's happy with [Saturday's] performance."

Rice isn't afraid to rotate his squad and is more than willing to shake up his team to get the job done.

He continued: "There's got to be competition for places, Ross MacIver's come in, he's done well coming off the bench and he's unlucky not to start the game.

"Young [Adam] King, [Mouhamed] Niang have started the three games and I just felt I wanted to go a different way, get my better football players on the ball and that's no disrespect to the others, and try to go and take the game to Peterhead and we done that.

"I don't think there was a failure in the team."

Stefan Scougall was awarded man of the match for a wonderful performance, and Rice knows the quality he has.

"[He's] a talent," the gaffer said. "When I came in here, I asked him: 'What are you doing playing in [this] division in Scotland with the talent you've got? The career you could have and could still have?'

"Stefan Scougall should be playing at a better level than this, but he's got to prove that – week-in, week-out – and I've seen that in the performances since I came here."

Next up for Alloa is East Fife. A win would do Alloa the world of good in terms of survival, but Rice isn't thinking about that.

"It doesn't matter about safety or anything else," he said. "All that matters is about going to try and win next week.

"The next game is the most important, I enjoyed today's performance, we'll enjoy today's result but my mind will be on East Fife in about an hour's time."