Four ‘cup finals’ left for Raith

1512029 SSFF raith livingstone 'Laurie Ellis first to the ball - Raith Rovers against Livingstone FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
1512029 SSFF raith livingstone 'Laurie Ellis first to the ball - Raith Rovers against Livingstone FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

FOUR games left, and every one of them a cup final.

Raith Rovers were saying the same thing at the end of last season, but the pressure this time is very different.

Twelve months ago the Kirkcaldy men were pushing for promotion to the SPL, this time they are fighting to stay in the first division.

And after Tuesday night’s defeat to Livingston put a dent in those hopes, defender Laurie Ellis admitted Rovers must get back on track against Partick on Saturday.

“It’s one of four massive cup finals for us,” he said. “We were saying the same last season, but it’s a different type of game because we’re looking upon it with different concerns.

“We’re really disappointed with where we are in league, but we’ve got to make sure we dig ourselves out.

Responsibility

“We can’t allow the club to go down and it’s our responsibility on the park to get enough points between now and the end of season to make sure that’s avoided.”

Staying positive in the wake of Tuesday night’s drubbing, Ellis said, will be key to Rovers’ survival hopes.

“We’ve got to keep everyone together, and keep everyone positive,” he said. “It’s too easy to start worrying about things, so we’ve got to make sure that everyone believes in themselves and their team mates. We’ll need to be there for each other on the park, because we’ll need it.”

Rovers had been on a four match unbeaten run prior to Tuesday’s defeat, where they were torn apart by Livingston for the second time in two months following the 4-0 reverse away from home in February.

“It was a bit of a lesson again unfortunately,” Ellis confessed. “We were second best all over the park and allowed them to play the game they are best at, which is opening us up at pace on the counter.

“We created chances in the first half, and you could see we were putting plenty into it. The boys always give a lot of effort.

“But they were still pulling us about too much and we weren’t happy with that. From the first goal onwards we weren’t anywhere near them.

“Even at half-time we felt we could get something out of the game because of the spirit we showed against Hamilton on Saturday, but it wasn’t to be.

“We’ve got four games left now, and we have to give maximum effort and hope we get to grips with problems better than we did on Tuesday night.”