McGlynn praises Raith Rovers players for second half comeback against Falkirk

Danile Armstrong is mobbed after scoring the equaliser for Raith Rovers (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)
Danile Armstrong is mobbed after scoring the equaliser for Raith Rovers (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn said Saturday’s match against Falkirk was the classic case of a game of two halves.

With his side trailing 2-0 at half time after a poor first half showing McGlynn made a couple of tactical changes and his team responded, fighting back to draw 2-2 and could even have snatched a victory right at the death.

“We didn’t start well, obviously, and they caused us a few problems,” he said.

“The first half wasn’t good for us - Falkirk were the better team and thoroughly deserved to be 2-0 up, maybe even more, because David McGurn made a couple of good saves as well and I think, in the first half, Cammy Bell had one really good save from McKay.” “So when Benedictus got injured just five minutes before half time, we had to change, and then we had to make a further change, a tactical change, to get ourselves back in the game.

“So bringing on Dan [Armstrong], who we just signed on Thursday, changing the shape as we had to do, I thought we dominated the second half.

“It was a much better half from our point of view; even if we hadn’t got the goal back, it was still a far better second half.

“I thought we controlled it - I don’t think they (Falkirk) had any chances in the second half - so we are delighted from that point of view. Showed the character and spirit to come back from 2-0 down when everything was against us.

“Mikey Miller with the header from the free kick and then Dan, as we know from his previous time here, executes the free kick brilliantly, and I thought we were going to go on and win the game, because we created enough chances.

“Mikey Doyle has cleared off the line when Grant Anderson has headed the ball back over the goalkeeper and it looks like a goal all the way. But they managed to clear it and that might have been the winner for us, which certainly would have put the icing on the cake.

“But, there’s no damage done, we’ve had a look at each other now and, from where we were at half time, we are delighted to come away with a point and maybe a wee bit vexed we didn’t get all three.”

Despite a lacklustre first 45 minutes from Rovers, McGlynn says that at half time he still thought his side were capable of salvaging a result.

He said: “I think with a 2-0 lead, it always is.

“I stress to the players whenever we are 2-0 up to make it 0-0. You’ve got to play from 0-0 and go out and win the second half. And we have done that in games here.

“Against Peterhead was the last game here we were 2-0 up at half time and went out and won the second half 2-0, making it 4-0. That’s how you’ve got to look at it.

“At half time I said to the lads ‘you’ve heard me in the dressing room plenty times saying this two-goal lead is not one you’ve won from’. It’s a dodgy lead. As soon as you get the next goal back, it’s game on. And that’s exactly how it went.

“I am delighted it went that way.”

McGlynn says the manner in which the substitutions changed the game shows he has real strength in depth within his squad.

“We have some players on the bench now who can come on and make a real difference.

“Jamie Gullan came on and was very direct and very positive, turning and going at them and, unfortunately, we didn’t have that in the first half.

“If I had known their team before the game, I might have picked a different team and things might have been different. But the changes were made and it made the difference.

“We were getting a doing, so I had to do something. Although we had a slight alteration when Jamie Gullan initially came on it was always in my mind that I was going to do this anyway at half time.

“I would have had to have done something at half time with the back four, to get a back four. Had Benedictus been fit I would had to have done something. I was always going to change it.

“I wasn’t going to do it in the first half, I was always going to do it at half time but we were considering what we had to do to change it.”

New loan signing Daniel Armstrong put on a mama of the match performance after his introduction and McGlynn said he was confident that he would have a positive impact.

“I had a wee word with him two minutes before half time because I knew at that point I was going to put him on.

“He’s not being playing a lot and he’s been five weeks away from Ross County and he’s not done a lot in that time so I just said ‘are you ready to go’ because he’s only trained with us Thursday and Friday.

“So he said he was up for it and, thankfully, he did enough there to cause some problems.

“He’s a match winner. He was the first time around, he was a match winner for us.

“Once he got up to speed and got his fitness he was a match winner. He scored goals for us, he created goals and he scored free kicks - scored a great free kick at Arbroath on December 22 last year to win the game 2-0. So we know what we are getting; it’s just getting him up to speed.

“But he made an impact today along with Jamie Gullan. I thought Regan Hendry and Brad Spencer were different class in the second half.

“We passed the ball in the second half; we didn’t play the way we can play in the first half.

“So you’ve got to give folk their credit - we turned it round in the second half.”