League win had to take priority

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Rovers boss Grant Murray and captain Jason Thomson agree the Championship victory over Alloa was paramount ahead of the Ramsdens Cup final.

With second bottom Cowdenbeath breathing down Rovers’ neck, ensuring the club’s league safety needed to be first and foremost in the players’ minds.

Rovers had to battle for their win, with a stunning Callum Booth free-kick the only difference between the sides.

Before focusing on Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup showpiece at Easter Road, Murray knew his men had a job to do at Recreation Park.

He said: “We felt we were worthy of a point at Hamilton so I told the boys we had to come here in a confident manner after a performance like that.

“To get the three points against Alloa was fantastic because it was needed.

“We created a few chances and, on another day, we could have had another couple of goals.

“We want to play well in every game but there comes a point when results are more important and today was massive.

“We don’t play this weekend and everybody else does so we didn’t want to fall further behind everybody else.

“We’ve now gone above Alloa and we can start looking at the sides above us.

“But we can’t get too interested in anybody else; we’ve got to do it ourselves.

“It’s in our hands.

“I’m delighted with the performance and attitude and what the players put into the game.

“We had two midweek games back to back and that took a lot out of the players.”

Murray’s thoughts were echoed by his skipper Thomson who said it was important to put the bread and butter of league business before Sunday’s cup-final preparation could start.

He said: “We knew going into the game that it was a big one for us and we had to concentrate on it before the cup final.

“It was a massive three points for us.

“With the position we are in we knew what was needed and I think we showed the fight and determination that you need down the bottom end of the table.

“Sometimes that’s what gets you out.”

Raith have been leaking goals at the back so defender Thomson admitted the clean sheet was also a welcome boost.

“We kept a clean sheet at Alloa and also against Dundee a couple of weeks ago against the side who were top of the league,” he said.

“We know it can be done but it’s something that we need to work on.

“It’s very pleasing for myself and the rest of the back four.”

The club captain revealed that he had egged on Booth to try his luck for the free-kick.

“I’ve said to him a few times that if it’s on for a free-kick to go on and hit it.

“He has a great left foot and he showed that.

“He’ll be claiming all the free-kick from now on.”

Thomson added that he expected the side to go into this week’s build up with a spring in their step following the win.

“It makes things ten times better by getting the win today and now we’ll focus on the final,” he said.