Jamma makes the case for the Raith Rovers defence

Raith Rovers goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald says he wants to add more clean sheets to the impressive number the team have notched up this season already.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 9:00 am
Raith goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Speaking as the FFP went to press ahead of Wednesday night’s Fife derby with Dunfermline, the Stark’s Park number one admitted he was frustrated at losing two late goals in Sunday’s win over Partick, as it would have been another shut out against the opposition.

“Until Partick scored those two late goals I think we were looking at eight clean sheets in 12 games,” he said.

“Overall, we still had a good run without conceding too many goals.

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Jamie MacDonald makes a save against Partick (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

“We lost a goal against Aberdeen which was a great strike, the goal up at Inverness was the same. We defended well in both games but just lost to two excellent goals.

“The only blotches are the Hamilton game and Partick. We were comfortable in both games with a big lead then we seemed to switch off.”

He added: “I'm delighted we got the three points on Sunday, but I'd be lying if I said I was happy.

“I'm bitterly disappointed we didn't add another clean sheet.

“I think if it had been 1-0 we'd have seen that game out, so it's something we need to address.”

‘Jamma’ credits the addition of former Hearts team-mate Christophe Berra to the Rovers reaguard as a crucial element, saying he is “fantastic” to play with.

“We played together in the youths at Hearts,” he says, “it's just brilliant having him here.

“He's a Scottish internationalist with 40 plus caps and he's played in the English Premiership.

“He's helped with our defence in picking up all those clean sheets as well. He's a very good defender.

"He tries to communicate along with Bene [Kyle Benedictus] and that's probably our most experienced part of the team age-wise and games-wise, the two centre halves plus myself, I think that's definitely helped, but you need to defend as a team.

“90 per cent of the time this season we've done that really well.”

MacDonald is now looking ahead to this Saturday’s trip to his former club Kilmarnock, one of the teams who are favourites to take the Championship title.

He says Rovers are relishing the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with them.

He said: “It's an important game for us at this stage of the season.

“We've had a decent start and if we can get another couple of wins in this quarter we could get up around that 16 point mark.

“Inverness and Killie have both started really well, which was to be expected if you're looking at it budget-wise.

“If you look at starting XIs there's nothing between the teams, it's more down to who has a bigger squad really and who can keep their players fit.

“That's when you'll see budget-wise Inverness and Killie will have a slight advantage when it comes to that with their squad size.

“But I'm looking forward to the Killie game. It's going to be a good test for us to see where we're at.”

He added: “Hopefully we can end what was a very good week for us with a win.”