'It's nothing to do with pressure': Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray explains recent poor run of five straight losses

Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray doesn’t think that the Kirkcaldy outfit’s recent run of five straight defeats in league and cups is proof that they are wilting under pressure at a crucial stage of the season.
Raith defender Euan Murray (centre) reckons title-winning experience of Shaun Byrne (1st left) and Josh Mullin (1st right) can be key this season (Pic Eddie Doig)Raith defender Euan Murray (centre) reckons title-winning experience of Shaun Byrne (1st left) and Josh Mullin (1st right) can be key this season (Pic Eddie Doig)
Raith defender Euan Murray (centre) reckons title-winning experience of Shaun Byrne (1st left) and Josh Mullin (1st right) can be key this season (Pic Eddie Doig)

Defeats to Livingston and Airdrieonians have seen Raith eliminated from the Scottish Cup and SPFL Trust Trophy respectively, while league reverses against Airdrieonians, Queen’s Park and Inverness Caledonian Thistle have seen second-placed Rovers fall four points behind leaders Dundee United in the Scottish Championship title race.

"I wouldn't say it's pressure that's caused the recent run of defeats," ex-Hartlepool United centre-back Murray, 30, told the Fife Free Press. "I think we're being punished for small mistakes that we really need to brush up on.

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"Teams aren't cutting through us and creating eight or nine big chances which sometimes you see in this league. It's just a slight wrong decision here or there and it seems to be punishing us at the minute.

"But we spoke about it, we addressed it, looked through a few things and really spoke about where we need to get back to in terms of getting back to our levels.

"I think you'd be right in saying we've been below par in the last few games.

"In fairness I thought at Livi the boys were really good. But against Airdrie we were pretty poor.

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"We need to get back to being what we were in the first half of the season and I'm really sure that we will.

"It's just about putting the disappointment behind us, going again and trying to get that win and getting that momentum back where hopefully we can go on another successful run."

Raith are not short of title-winning experience in their bid to finish top of Scotland’s second tier come May.

For, as well as Murray being part of the Kilmarnock side which won the Scottish Championship in season 2021-22, they can also call upon the services of Keith Watson and Josh Mullin (both part of the Ross County squad which landed the Scottish Championship crown in 2018/19) and Shaun Byrne (also a second tier title winner with Dundee in 2022/23).

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In addition, Mullin has also previously won Scottish League Two with Albion Rovers and Scottish League One with Livingston, while Byrne has landed Scottish League One with both Dunfermline Athletic and Livingston.

Murray added: "It's not just me. There's a few of us, big Keith Watson as well, Shaun Byrne, Josh Mullin, folk that have been there and done it.

"We try and offer ourselves to be there for folk in terms of leaning on us a wee bit, maybe being a bit cool headed at times when everything seems like it is going against us or there is a bit of panic setting in.

"But there's that many good players throughout the squad that you find yourself not having to say too much anyway. It's just about trying to click again.

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"We've obviously had a wee blip the last few weeks but if you see the way everyone's working in training and the commitment that everyone shows, it shouldn't be long before it turns for us again I think.”