JOHN McGlynn will rack up five years in the Raith Rovers hot seat this week – a milestone that coincides with his worst run of form as manager.
Two promotion play-off defeats, a Second Division championship, a Scottish Cup semi-final and an against-the-odds push for promotion to the SPL tell the tale of his time at Stark’s Park since starting the job on November 20, 2006.
His record of year-on-year improvement on a tight budget has earned him great respect – and a Manager of the Year award – however, summer cutbacks have slammed the brakes on this upward trend, and a disappointing season so far reached a new low on Saturday as Rovers were beaten 1-0 at home by part-time Ayr United to fall to second bottom of Division One.
With internet polls now questioning the manager’s position, McGlynn may not feel like celebrating his anniversary this week, but he has vowed to work harder than ever to turn the club’s fortunes around.
“This club has been 10 per cent of my life,” said the 50-year-old boss. “At the minute we’re having a hard time but it’s mainly been very enjoyable. I’ve learned a lot and I’m calmer now than when I started, although it’s still, at times, very stressful. You put yourself under great pressure to achieve all the time.
“I think this goes down as the poorest run we’ve had, and it’s a new challenge, but I would hope that the last five years have been remembered, and that people recognise that our circumstances have changed.
“We’ve lost a lot of players, so I would like to think that people would give you the time to turn it around, especially when it’s the first wee spell we’ve had where things are not going the way everyone would want.
“I’m still putting my heart and soul into it and looking to achieve things here. There’s a long way to go this season, and anything can happen yet.”
Rovers have no game this Saturday as they have automatically qualified for the Scottish Cup fourth round due to their league position last season.
Trust in boss: RAITH Supporters Trust marked John McGlynn’s five years in charge by presenting him with a framed collection of photos from some of his finest moments. Trust chairman Alan Russell explained: “We wanted to show our thanks to John for restoring a pride in Raith Rovers among the people of Kirkcaldy, which is essential if we are to have a long term future as a strong and stable community club.”