Break from league duty has come at a good time, says Raith boss McGlynn

John McGlynn says Saturday’s Scottish Cup trip against Banks O’ Dee has come at a good time as his team’s league form continues to falter.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 9:47 am
Ross Matthews challenges for the ball in the defeat to Arbroath. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Ross Matthews challenges for the ball in the defeat to Arbroath. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The Raith Rovers manager will take his side up to Aberdeen to face the SJFA North Superleague in the fourth round of the competition and says a win could give his players a boost when they return to the Championship the following week.

Raith’s remarkable 15-game run without losing has quickly flipped into no wins in five with just two points gained and the same amount of goals scored. Saturday’s loss to Arbroath being the latest disappointment.

McGlynn said: "If we want to win the league we're not going to do it by being beaten continually, that's for sure.“The first half of the season was great. We then lose our first game in 15 against Partick when we were down to 10 men and that's had an effect since.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“We got ourselves into that situation on Saturday, as we did the week before against Inverness, where we got ourselves into a lead.

“We lost a late goal to Inverness, if that's avoided it makes a big difference. On Saturday we're in front, we don't defend well and we lose the game.

“It's very fine margins but we have to make sure we deal with this.

“Yes, Saturday was disappointing. Nobody was happy. We hold our hands up, we need to do better. But there's a long way to go and I have a lot of belief in the players that we can recover from this.

“It's not easy but we need to knuckle down, roll our sleeves up and fight for each other a bit more.

“We have the ability, we just need to producing goals and the rest will take care of itself.

“We've got an opportunity on Saturday in the Scottish Cup, away from the league, hopefully we go and do the business, get a bit of confidence back and we get a springboard back into the league campaign.

The furious Stark’s Park boss kept his players in the dressing room for over an hour after the defeat to Dick Campbell’s side and says it was their failure to win individual battles that infuriated him most.

“We weren't winning our headers. Crosses coming into our box cost us goals.

“Winning those headers are as crucial as a defender.

"And, defending as a team, we were letting those crosses come into the box too easily.

“That was the most important thing - we lost two goals to simple balls coming into the box.

“They maybe should have been stopped at source, but when they come in from a wider area we have to be in better positions to clear the ball.

“For the first goal the ball goes past our players and goes into an area where we have to show a greater desire to get the ball away.

“The second comes from a penalty but it initially stems from a ball that was allowed into the box cheaply, then not dealt with and a rash challenge costs us the penalty and, ultimately, the game.

McGlynn will now turn his attention to Saturday’s trip to Spain Park in Aberdeen and says he wants his side to avoid a potential banana skin against non-league opponents who produced a major shock in the last round of the Scottish Cup when they beat Raith’s Fife rivals East Fife.

“Over the course of many years in the game I've always believed that you deal with the cards you're dealt,£ he says.

“It just so happens that we have a Scottish Cup tie which is certainly a winnable game.

“We have to take this opportunity because there are big rewards in the Scottish Cup financially.

“We're playing on a big stage but we take nothing for granted. We've been looking at Banks O' Dee this week and will give them the utmost respect.

“They've beaten Linlithgow Rose, they've beaten two Highland League teams, then they go on and beat East Fife so they've beaten a team from League One.

"They've now got a shot to nothing against us. They're not expected to win so we have to deal with that.

"One good thing for us is that they play on a new astroturf, we're not playing on a tattie field. It's a good surface and it's a big pitch which should suit us.

“But we need to be professional, we need to get the job done - we want to be in the hat for the next round at 5 o'clock on Saturday night.

“The players will be looking to respond to the defeat to Arbroath and get back to winning ways which will hopefully boost our league campaign."