Raith boss: ‘We’re going to Easter Road to win’

Raith Rovers players and Roary the mascot visited the children's ward at Victoria Hospital this week. Pictured with Chloe Annan, age 7, are Kyle Benedictus, Rudi Skacel and Kevin Cuthbert - credit - fife photo agency -
Raith Rovers players and Roary the mascot visited the children's ward at Victoria Hospital this week. Pictured with Chloe Annan, age 7, are Kyle Benedictus, Rudi Skacel and Kevin Cuthbert - credit - fife photo agency -

Raith Rovers boss Gary Locke believes it is only a matter of time until his side start turning draws into victories.

Rovers have only lost once in eight fixtures but have failed to strengthen their league position due to the number of points dropped in drawn encounters.

The stalemate against Dundee United was Rovers’ fourth in five matches but Locke witnessed enough positive signs to believe the next win is just around the corner.

“It’s been a frustrating period,” he said. “We’ve had one defeat in eight but we haven’t really pulled away from anybody in the league.

“There have been too many draws and that’s disappointed myself and Darren (Jackson) but I’m certainly a lot happier now with the performances because we had a couple of poor ones.

“We’re getting back to how we were playing earlier in the season and hopefully it won’t be long before the chances we do create start going in the net.”

Ironically, Raith fans will probably be happy to accept a point from their next fixture as they travel to Easter Road to face league leaders Hibernian on Christmas Eve.

However, Locke insists the team will travel intent on winning.

“Our home form has been good all season – we’ve had just one defeat – so we just need to brush up on our away form,” he said.

“We’re going to one of the most difficult places there is to go but we’re going there with confidence.

“They are top of the league because they’ve been the best team and it’s important we go there and try to beat them.

“Myself and Darren will be putting the team out to win the game.”

Locke expects a hot reception from Hibs fans given his Hearts past, but is relishing his first trip to Easter Road in three years.

“I’ll get stick as I always do but it’s a great place for the boys to play, a great stadium and a game we’re all looking forward to,” he said.

“I had a good record there in the Edinburgh derbies, and I always enjoyed playing there.

“You always got stick, but you expected it and it never went over the top so I’m looking forward to going back there.”

Raith are also looking to boost their goal column after a managing just one goal in their last five outings but Locke is confident his forward players will come good.

“If we weren’t creating, and not scoring, we’d be worried – but we are creating and it’s only a matter of time, I’m sure of it, before the boys we’ve got in the team start putting the ball in the net,” he said.

“We have shown our threat over the course of season – we scored three at home against both St Mirren and Dumbarton and four away to Falkirk – so hopefully the goals return and we start winning again.

“The pleasing thing is that Chris Johnston is starting to show the quality that I knew he had, Bobby Barr coming back has made a difference, and Declan McManus just needs a goal because his overall play has been good.”

Raith are hopeful that captain Jason Thomson will return to the squad on Saturday after the right back featured in a closed doors match against Lochee United on Tuesday.

Craig Barr also took part in the match as he steps us his return from injury.

Locke also confirmed that he is hopeful of making an addition or two in January but with the budget already showing an overspend, it will be dependant on whether players can be moved out to free up wages.

The Press understands that Rangers striker Ryan Hardie, currently on loan at St Mirren until January, is among Locke’s targets.

Meanwhile, the Rovers squad made their annual Christmas visit to the children’s ward at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy this week.

The players, along with club mascot Roary Rover, brought smiles to the faces of young patients as they delivered Christmas gifts from the club shop.