Raith defender felt 10 years older on return from injury

The returning Paul Watson is all over St Johnstone's Dave McKay during Saturday's Scottish Cup quarter-final. Pic: Neil Doig
The returning Paul Watson is all over St Johnstone's Dave McKay during Saturday's Scottish Cup quarter-final. Pic: Neil Doig

Paul Watson feels as though he has aged 10 years in the 14 weeks he has spent recovering from a broken foot.

The defender completed his first 90 minutes since November in the Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat to St Johnstone on Saturday.

The last time the centre-half featured for the first team Rovers were sitting third in the table five points off the top.

But now he returns with the team in eighth place, just three points ahead of relegation threatened Cowdenbeath.

“I’m delighted to be back but I don’t feel 23 at the moment – I feel more like 33,” Watson told the Press.

“I was a bit sluggish against St Johnstone – it wasn’t a good enough performance from myself, but we’ll kick on next week.

“It’s been a very frustrating time on the sidelines because you want to play every minute of every game.

“When the team isn’t doing so well and you’re sitting in the stand there’s nothing you can do about it.

“Just happy to be back involved and looking forward to Saturdays again.”

Watson was disappointed that Rovers failed to grasp what he believed to be an excellent opportunity to reach the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

“We felt the tie was there for us,” he said. “I thought we played some good stuff.

“We conceded a sloppy goal to start with - I probably should’ve done better with the header - so we were on the back foot straight away.

“But we responded well, got ourselves back into the game with a wonder strike from Cardle, and we went in at half-time happy, thinking we had a right good chance.

“But we’ve gifted them two sloppy goals in the second half - my man scored the third one which isn’t good enough from myself - and we’re very disappointed.

“It wasn’t good enough from us defensively so we’ll go and work on that this week and be ready for Saturday.”

Rovers fans will be hoping Watson’s return can help settle a defence that has leaked 17 goals in the last six games.

“We had a good cup run but that’s finished now and we’ve got to concentrate on the league,” he added.

“We’ll just take it one game a time but the boys will be ready to go against Morton on Saturday - that’s for sure.”