Let's look forward after league win, says Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn

Raith and Inverness will meet for the fifth time this season. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)Raith and Inverness will meet for the fifth time this season. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith and Inverness will meet for the fifth time this season. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn said Saturday’s win over Queen of the South was a massive weight off the club’s collective shoulders.

The three points taken away against Queen of the South were last matched by Rovers in a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock back on December 11 – 11 games without a win in total.

But McGlynn says it’s now time to move forward and insists his patched up team, with many regular starters stricken by an illness bug, were worthy winners in Dumfries.

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“I think we deserve to win over the 90 minutes,” he said, “we were the better team in the first half.

"The big thing about it was the situation we found ourselves in with so many players out, but the ones that came in gave absolutely everything for the jersey.

“They battled, they fought, they ran, they covered every inch of the pitch and it was a real team performance.

“They went the extra mile for each other to win that game.

“You could see it in the way that they celebrated after the game - it was an enormous weight off their shoulders.

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“There was an extra bonus that Partick and Arbroath were both beaten so we caught some points up on them.

“We also made it a bigger gap between ourselves and teams like Queens, Ayr and Hamilton.

“We wanted to make sure that gap between fifth where we are and sixth didn't get closed up.”

Goal scorer Matej Poplatnik led the line superbly on the day and the Stark’s Park boss said he was delighted for him.

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"We had an awful lot of good performances, but I thought Matej was excellent on the day.

“His work rate was superb, he was brave in winning headers, he chased the ball, he was holding it up well to bring others into play and in the end he got the goal which was vitally important.

“He was a thorn in their side for the entire time he was on. I think it was probably his best game for us which is great with just seven games to go.

“He's hitting great form at the right time.”

Britain was hit with the worst storms in over a decade, former Kirkcaldy councillor Henry McLeish was made First Minister of Scotland and Steps were at number one with 'Stomp' the last time Raith Rovers beat this Saturday’s opponents Inverness Caledonian Thistle, on October 28, 2000.

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A penalty shoot out win saw Rovers knock the Highlanders out of the League Cup earlier this season, but it's been a full 28 games since they last triumphed over Billy Dodds' team in 90 minutes.

They meet for the fifth time this season, with three draws and a 1-0 win for Caley so far, and McGlynn says he expects another close match with both teams having ended matching 11-game winless runs last weekend, but says he’s unsure which players he will be able to call on to try and end the 20+-year hoodoo.

“We were missing a few players last week with this illness and some other guys might have picked it up also.

“All the guys are testing negative for covid, it's just something else that's going around.

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“We don't have our troubles to seek with regard to players missing, but we've had to win a number of battles to get to this position.

“It's fourth against fifth and you don't have to be the brain of Britain to work out that if we win it we jump above them.

“That's got to be our motivation.

"Hopefully we can field a strong enough team to be able to do that, but we are struggling.

“If we can win the game though it would put us right in the driving seat. It would create a bigger gap between them and ourselves.

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“Obviously we don't want to draw or lose but a draw would keep it ticking along.

“We have to be very selfish and blinkered with regard to what's happening elsewhere.

“We showed that last week in adversity we can dig out a performance and a result.”

Any extra motivation required for the Championship clash will come in trying to make up for their last home match – the season’s nadir in the shape of a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Ayr United.

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“It will be great to be back at home for sure,” McGlynn says.

"We want to make amends for our last home performance where we didn't do particularly well.

“We showed on Saturday that we're not bad defenders, we defended very well against Queen of the South, we just had a bad day against Ayr.

“Now we'll need to defend well again against Inverness and on top of that we'll need to try and exploit them.

“There's not been much between the teams this season and I would imagine that this will be another close game.”