Raith captain Callachan welcomes title pressure

01/08/17
HAMPDEN - GLASGOW
Raith Rovers' Ross Callachan previews the 2017/2018 Ladbrokes League One season
01/08/17 HAMPDEN - GLASGOW Raith Rovers' Ross Callachan previews the 2017/2018 Ladbrokes League One season

Raith skipper Ross Callachan has revealed that new boss Barry Smith has laid it on the line for the Rovers players with a simple message: We must win the league.

Callachan admits dropping out of the Championship a few months ago was a nightmare and something that the squad should be embarrassed about.

However, he says there is a complete buy-in to Smith’s plans and they won’t feel the pressure of getting straight back up – they will embrace it and use it to their advantage.

There is a clear target for the Stark’s Park side and Callachan says there is complete belief among the players after a disastrous spell under John Hughes.

Callachan said: “We had a bad season last season and we are aiming to bounce straight back up.

“The manager has not shied away from that.

“He has been great since he came in and there is more positivity surrounding the club after relegation last season.

“Raith are really focused on winning the league and he is not afraid to say that.

“That is great for the players to hear.

“Raith have to embrace that this season and not see it as an added pressure.

“We are a big club and we are probably not where we belong in Scottish football.

“We have a lot of expectation on our shoulders this season and we have to meet that head-on.”

Rovers open up their campaign on the synthetic surface at Alloa and Callachan insists they can get off to the positive start they want after a decent Betfred Cup campaign.

He added: “We will go there brimming with confidence.

“We have scored eight goals in the last two games even though we did not qualify in the League cup.

“We have shown that we can score goals.

“If you ask most footballers they don’t like playing on Astroturf but they have re-laid the surface and it should be slightly better.

“Hopefully we can get our campaign off to a flyer by getting the win.”