John Baird keen to win back Raith Rovers starting place after instant impact against Forfar

John Baird makes it 2-0 to Raith just seconds after coming off the bench. Pic: Walter NeilsonJohn Baird makes it 2-0 to Raith just seconds after coming off the bench. Pic: Walter Neilson
John Baird makes it 2-0 to Raith just seconds after coming off the bench. Pic: Walter Neilson | walter_ neilson
Raith Rovers striker John Baird hopes to reclaim his starting place after making an instant impact against Forfar.

The 34-year-old scored with virtually his first touch after being introduced in the 75th minute to help secure a 2-1 win over the Angus side.

Baird was on the bench for a third consecutive match, and had been an unused sub in the midweek draw with title rivals Falkirk.

“It was good to come on,” Baird said.

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“Obviously I want to play – any player worth their salt wants to play.

“The manager’s got decisions to make and I’m not happy with the one to leave me out.

“Since East Fife away just before the turn of the year, I’ve been playing really well and been happy with my form, so we’ll see how it goes next week.”

Baird’s fifth goal of the season ensured Rovers stay a point clear of Falkirk in the League One title race with eight games remaining.

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“I want to score goals,” Baird added, “but the team is the most important thing.

“If we win every game until the end of the season we win the league - it’s as simple as that.

“It’s Peterhead away next week and it wasn’t a good day the last time we went up there, so we need to go up there with a different mentality than the one we had before.”

While delighted with the result, Rovers assistant manager Paul Smith was frustrated with the narrow margin of victory.

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“We had a hell of a lot of possession but didn’t use the ball quick enough,” he said.

“We made it difficult for ourselves and our final ball wasn’t good enough on the day.

“We’d like to have done it with a wee bit more style, but it didn’t quite click for us today.

“We’re frustrated with the goal we lost - it was just slackness that crept in there - but we’re obviously delighted to stay top of the table.”

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Forfar boss Stewart Malcolm felt his side gave a good account of themselves at the home of the league leaders.

“We equipped ourselves very well and got into some great areas,” he said.

“We were set up to play on the break and I thought we did it well, our goal just came too late.”

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