Award is for whole Raith team - McKinnon

Raith Rovers Manager Ray McKinnon is awarded Manager of the Month by Ladbrokes.
Raith Rovers Manager Ray McKinnon is awarded Manager of the Month by Ladbrokes.

Raith Rovers boss Ray McKinnon has dedicated his Manager of the Month award to his players and backroom team.

Championship sponsors Ladbrokes picked the Stark’s Park boss for leading his team through a successful March, a busy month which saw Rovers win five, draw one and suffer just one narrow defeat at Ibrox.

But McKinnon insists that it’s his players and coaching staff that deserve all the plaudits.

“I’m pleased for everybody that we got this award, because it’s for all the hard work that they’ve all put in.

“It’s not just myself, it’s the players obviously, as well as the coaching staff.

“We’ve all been working hard all season and it’s been a tough league to work in because you’ve got Rangers and Hibs there, so the award is testament to the good form the boys have been in and they should take a lot of credit.”

McKinnon says he’s pleased that Rovers’ great run of form, just two defeats in the last 13 games - both against champions Rangers - has come as the side push to secure a play-off place.

“I think we’ve performed well all season but we’ve had a lot of injuries and other things to contend with, so we’re maybe getting the results we deserve now,” he said.

“Just having the extra bodies about the place and being able to freshen it up has been an advantage as well.”

Saturday’s last-gasp equaliser against Rangers was typical of Rovers tenacity this season, McKinnon says.

“That summed them up, they’ve been like that all season.

“I don’t think there’s been a game they haven’t tried their best in and Saturday just typifies the spirit in the camp.

“They’ve gone right to the 90th minute, even after missing the penalty they kept going and they got their reward, so that just shows the character of this team.”

Rovers now face a tricky away trip to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South and McKinnon says that Rovers’ 2-0 victory over them in March will have no bearing.

“It doesn’t count for me that we beat them here recently. We’ll take this game individually. They’ve been on a good run of form after they played us.

“They scored three goals at Ibrox and two against Falkirk so they’re a very decent side as they’ve proven all season, so we need to be at our best.

“It’ll be a tough game down there. They’re our closest challengers for that fourth spot really, but if we can go there and play the way we’ve been playing then there’s no reason why we can’t get a result.”

McKinnon bullishly refuses to accept the fourth play-off place is Kirkcaldy-bound but admits: “It’s looking good, but we’ve a lot of work to do.

“If we do get in to the play offs, we’ll give it a right good shot.”

McKinnon also said he is delighted that two players, Iain Davidson and Scott Robertson, extended their Rovers contracts this week, and admits he already has one eye on next season.

“We’re trying to plan and make sure that all our good players are signed up.

“We want to build the squad. Davo and Scott will be the last bit of business, with perhaps one more, before the season finishes and then we’ll readdress everybody’s position.

“I’m really happy that the two lads have signed, it’s all about rebuilding for next season.”