Christmas Day on the training pitch

Partick thistle v raith rovers'photo emma mitchell'16/12/11'alan archibald

Partick thistle v raith rovers'photo emma mitchell'16/12/11'alan archibald

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RAITH Rovers players will spend Christmas Day on the training pitch as they prepare for the big Boxing Day battle in Ayr.

John McGlynn has told his players to report for action on Sunday ahead of the relegation six-pointer at Somerset Park.

McGlynn explained: “We got our fingers burnt a few years ago giving the players Christmas Day off.

“We went down to Berwick on Boxing Day and lost – and didn’t play at all on the day.

“I vowed then that we wouldn’t do that again so the players will be in. They are very understanding and professional, they know the situation.

“We’ll be in prepared for the game, switched on and mentally tuned in.”

Rovers have already lost three times to Ayr this season, and McGlynn added: “We feel we’re due Ayr one.

“We go into the game with renewed confidence and belief after the win over Partick.

“We’ll need to put every bit as much effort in again but we can play better, and that’s what we’ll be looking to add to the battling performance at Firhill.”

McGlynn is keen to follow up victory at Firhill with another three points against Ayr.

Not since the opening two weeks of the season have Rovers managed back-to-back wins in the league.

“These opportunities have cropped up two or three times this season where we’ve won a game, and been looking to kick on, and for whatever reason it’s not materialised.

“It’s up to us to build on the victory over Partick with another victory, and bring the teams above us down towards the bottom of the table.

“After Hamilton we came up against very good Ross County team and couldn’t get momentum going.

“It’s very important in this league to get that momentum, and nobody in the bottom half is managing to do that, so anyone who does can pull away.”

McGlynn has one fitness concern over left back Willie Dyer who picked up a dead leg towards the end of the Partick match.

“Partick were complaining about time wasting but that was sour grapes,” McGlynn said. “We took Willie off because he was injured.

“It is quite a bad dead leg, but with the extra two games until the next game, that might make the difference in him being available for Ayr.”

Iain Davidson was also taken off against Partick but was simply suffering from cramp.

McGlynn, who turned 50 on Monday, also had a Christmas message for the Raith fans, stating: “I’d just like to say a special thank you to all the fans.

“I hope they have a good Christmas period, and I’d like to thank them for their support.

“The away support at Partick were different class again. They gave the team great backing.

“We’ll hopefully see them down at Ayr giving the players the exact same support, and then similarly at home against Dundee on the 2nd.”