Fit-again Tony Dingwall hoping for his Raith Rovers chance

Raith Rovers forward Tony Dingwall. Credit- Fife Photo Agency
Raith Rovers forward Tony Dingwall. Credit- Fife Photo Agency

Frustrated forward Tony Dingwall is hoping to show he can make an impact in the Raith Rovers starting 11.

The 25-year-old has endured a tough season so far, suffering injury setbacks in his bid to return from ankle surgery in the summer.

However, the former Ross County man now insists he feels fully fit and ready to play, and hopes to force his way into John McGlynn’s plans.

“For me now I need to get back in the team and get back playing every week,” he said.

“The boys have been playing well so I’ve had to be patient, but the last couple of weeks I don’t feel as a team we’ve played that great so hopefully there will be a wee opportunity for me now.

“When I do get that chance back in the starting team I need to make sure I take it, and play well myself.”

Dingwall, who has managed just two starts this season, came off the bench with 15 minutes left of Tuesday’s goalless draw with Forfar.

“To be honest, I don’t think we played well,” he said.

“We were maybe slightly better than Saturday as we had a bit more of the ball but I still don’t think we played anywhere near what we can.

“I didn’t play very long in the game but I felt like we were going with the long ball an awful lot.

“It was maybe the conditions or what but I don’t think that suits us at all.

“We’re a passing team but every single time we got the ball we kept going too direct.

“They were sitting in tight but I think we made it easy for them .

“They want us to lump the ball to their big centre-halves to come and win headers, whereas if we tried to break the lines and pass through them, that’s what we’re good at, but we got away from that.”

There was a notable lack of quality in Raith’s forward play on Tuesday, but Dingwall believes he has the tools to provide the answer.

“I definitely think that’s my game in the final third,” he said. “The gaffer picks the team, it’s not down to me, but whether it’s wide or maybe playing in the number 10 role, I feel like I could maybe make something happen, like skip past a player.

“I’ve had to patient but hopefully that’s it now.”

Dingwall’s injury - a grade three ligament tear in his ankle - kept him sidelined throughout preseason but he feels he has now caught up on his fitness levels.

“It’s never nice having to do preseason on your own when you do get back,” he said.

“I tried to keep myself ticking over in the gym but it’s been frustrating because after the operation I didn’t think I’d be out for as long.

“I kept trying to come back and something wasn’t right. Thankfully, I’ve had two injections now and they seem to have done the trick.

“You always get wee niggles in your ankles, being the sort of player I am. It was just one of those bad ones, which happens in football.

“I’ve been training now for weeks and I’ve done all my running with the sports scientist. My fitness is up and all my body fats have come right down since my injury.

“I’m just champing at the bit, ready to go, so hopefully I get a chance soon.”