Raith boss looks for clean sheets

KIRKCALDY; Starks Park;'Pre-Season Friendly; Player / Manager GRANT MURRAY'RAITH ROVERS v Ross County;'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY; Starks Park;'Pre-Season Friendly; Player / Manager GRANT MURRAY'RAITH ROVERS v Ross County;'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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RAITH Rovers can play entertaining attacking football without compromising in defence.

That was the message from manager Grant Murray this week as he faced questions over his team’s defending.

Rovers have had no trouble finding the net this season, with the team’s three strikers sharing 34 goals between them.

At the back, however, the team has struggled for clean sheets – the defence has been breached six times in the last two games alone.

Murray told the Press: “I’ve been happy with the way we have performed going forward, but I want the whole package.

“First and foremost I want us to defend properly, and then I want us to score goals.

“I’ve not been encouraging a gung-ho approach that leaves us open at the back. Not at all.

“We are capable of playing positive attacking football and keeping clean sheets. We did it earlier in the season.

“If we do that we’ll have a better chance of winning games.”

Murray stressed that the responsibility for conceding goals lies with the whole team.

“It’s not just the back four and goalkeeper,” he said.

“It’s a whole team effort when it comes to defending properly.

“We’ve lost goals from set pieces and that can come down to an individual mistake.

“But we need to concenrate on defending as a team and stick together.”

After picking up just one point and scoring five goals in the last two games, Murray would gladly settle for a 1-0 win away to bottom of the table Dumbarton on Saturday.

“Every team would settle for that every week,” he said.

“We only drew with Dumbarton at home earlier in the season after twice getting into a good position.

“They played very good football that day and had a right go at us.

“They’ll be disappointed to have been knocked out the Scottish Cup on Monday but now they can focus solely on the league.

“They’ll want to climb that table starting on Saturday and we’ll be need to be wary of that.

“But we have to concentrate on ourselves and go there with our own agenda to win the game.”

Raith could be boosted by the return of Simon Mensing from a hamstring injury.

Murray added: “Simon has trained with the physio this week and should be available for selection.

“However, we don’t want to rush him back because the games come thick and fast over the festive period.”