Raith defender targets another clean sheet against Ayr

Raith defender Iain Davidson. Pic: FPA
Raith defender Iain Davidson. Pic: FPA
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Iain Davidson is hoping to continue his unbeaten record as a right back when Raith Rovers entertain Ayr United tonight.

The 32-year-old played his first ever game in the unfamiliar role in the 0-0 draw with Hibs last month and Raith have not lost a game since.

Rovers have also kept four clean sheets in five games since Davidson moved into the position normally occupied by injured club captain Jason Thomson.

"It’s completely new to me but since I went back there, defensively we’ve been alight, so I can’t argue with that," he said.

“We’re not conceding goals, which is a good sign.

"I’m not going to be the most attacking full-back in the world but defensively I’m always going to be pretty sound and back up the right midfielder and let them do their thing.

“I’m playing and I’m enjoying it, so it’s fine. It’s another position added on late in my career."

While Davidson's defensive qualities have shone through, he admits that he does not possess the attacking thrust from full back provided by Thomson.

“Sometimes nowadays in the right-back position you’re expected to be an extra winger," he said.

“Jason is a flying full back and is great going forward - I’m not going to do that - but on the defensive side of things I’m going to be pretty solid.

"The manager’s just told me to go in and do what I can and do the job to the best of my ability.

“If I can get forward I do that but with Ross Matthews in front of me he’s not an out-and-out winger either.

“We’ve been doing well with the team that’s been playing, even though it’s maybe not the most attacking with me and Ross there.

“But the team’s been doing well so, as a manager, you wouldn’t change it."

Davidson admits Raith will need to be on their guard tonight when they come up against his former Dundee team mate Gary Harkins, now plying his trade with part-time Ayr.

“Gary is someone I know very well," he said. "He’s a good lad and on his day he’s a very, very good player.

“He has great ability and if you give him time he’ll create things and make things happen.

“He’s obviously got a goal in his locker as well.

"From 40 yards in he can create something out of nothing.

“He’s a flair player and we’ll need to keep an eye on him and maybe need to give him a bit of extra attention.

“But they’re doing well and their results are proving that, even though they were beaten by Falkirk on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a tough game but the emphasis is on us to try to win and to be positive. Hopefully we can get the result."

Davidson was back at Raith's training base in Glenrothes yesterday after travelling south on Sunday to watch the Middlesbrough-Chelsea match in the English Premiership.

"A good friend of mine has a little lad who is a big Chelsea fan," he said.

“I got tickets through Grant Leadbitter who I played with at Sunderland as a youth player and in the reserves, and he’s the Middlesbrough captain now.

“It was good to see him get on the pitch and it was a great day out.

“It was a very good game and a great atmosphere, and we really enjoyed it.

“You might see less people in the crowd on Tuesday night! But hopefully we get a decent crowd to help us get the three points."

Raith are unbeaten in five, but after back-to-back goalless draws away to Dunfermline and Dumbarton, boss Gary Locke is eyeing three points tonight.

“Looking at it you’re maybe sometimes better losing one and winning one because you’re a point better off," he said.

“But when you’re on the run we’re on you want to try to keep that momentum going.

“I said a couple of months ago it’s all about trying to find some consistency and if we can go five or six games unbeaten then hopefully that will be enough to keep us at the right end of the table.

“We’re disappointed not to score in the last two games but in the Falkirk game we scored four, so I’m not overly concerned about that.

“We are creating chances but we do need to brush up in the final third because at times we got into good positions but didn’t get the right quality into the box.

“Hopefully if we do create chances against Ayr we can take them."