Raith look to knock leaders from perch

BURNTISLAND;'Raith Rovers training;'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
BURNTISLAND;'Raith Rovers training;'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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After a fortnight without football, Raith Rovers aim to re-start their season with a bang on Saturday by becoming the first team to beat Ross County since August.

Not since a 5-1 defeat to Hamilton Accies in the second game of the season have the runaway leaders tasted a league defeat, but Raith boss John McGlynn wants that 17-game run to end at Stark’s Park.

“We need three points as much as they do - if not even more,” he told SportsPress. “Being the team to break their run is extra motivation.

“We had it all last year – when you’re top of the table and doing well teams try to knock you off your perch.

“But most important for us is to get the three points and start catching the teams above us.”

Robust

Rovers were out-classed in a 4-2 away defeat to County in December, but McGlynn expects his team to produce a more robust performance on Saturday.

“We were a bit too easy to play against that day,” McGlynn said. “We’ve certainly tightened up, but this will be biggest test we’ve had since then.

“There’s no doubt Ross County are the best team we’ve played. That’s why they are top of the league with games in hand.

“We’ve got to get in their face – things that St Mirren didn’t do to them last week. They don’t just pass the ball well, they are a very physically strong team.

“We need to be prepared to match that and compete in every single area of the park.

Bullied

“We need to make sure our defenders and midfielders are not getting bullied, while our forwards are giving their defenders a hard time.

“We can’t afford to give them the time and space they got up in Dingwall.”

Based on form over the last eight games Rovers are placed fifth in the table, and that gives McGlynn confidence that his team is on the up.

“It shows we’re a better team that our league position suggests,” he said.

“But what we do in the next eight games to ensure we finish season higher than where we are is more important.

“The good thing is, you can see the spirit and work rate from the players. They are very much up for challenge, and have been in every single game.

“No-one can point the finger. Getting a win will let confidence flow through team, and then there’s still a lot of points to be played for.”