New striker is our priority, says Raith Rovers boss McGlynn

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn says a new striker is top of his shopping list during the January transfer window.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 9:00 am
Raith and Inverness last met in the Championship back in October at Stark's Park (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith and Inverness last met in the Championship back in October at Stark's Park (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

With Lewis Vaughan ruled out for the season just as the campaign got underway, the job of scoring goals fell to the club’s other hitmen, Ethon Varian and Matej Poplatnik.

However the pair have found hitting the net regularly tough going, managing just four goals between them.

And with just one goal in the club’s last six games, none in the last three, finding a player who can score is looking like a matter of urgency if they are to stay in the promotion hunt.

McGlynn said: “Two or three players have maybe gone off the boil a wee bit.

“You've got to accept that sometimes that's going to happen but sometimes that's difficult because you want everyone to be playing at the top of their game all season, but realistically that's not going to happen.

“There were guys that were getting us goals like Dario Zanatta, Aidan Connolly and Ethan Ross but that's been not happening at the moment.

“Since Kevin Nisbet left we've not had a real number nine who scores a lot of goals so the goals have had to be shared around the team.

“We have been doing that but the goals have dried up recently so we're going to have to find another solution to that.

“We went with the two strikers on Sunday against Dunfermline.

"Both of them work extremely hard and maybe on the day they didn't get the greatest of service and didn't quite get that opportunity to score.

“It's just sticking at it. We have to stick together. Looking at the league table there's still a long way to go.”

Varian has extended his loan from Stoke City until the end of the season which McGlynn says he’s “delighted” with, but says another forward is a priority.

"If we want to win the league we need to find a striker who is going to score goals.

“That's the challenge because everyone is looking for one of them.

“We have a list that's probably the length of Kirkcaldy prom but it's getting the right person.

“They have to fit in and have the attributes that we are looking for.

"He needs to be a goalscorer but needs to work hard, run, chase and be prepared to defend from the front.

“It's about making the right decision on who to sign.

“Elsewhere in the team I think we're strong in most areas but a striker is our priority.

“That's where we are going to channel most of our efforts.”

The most recent new faces at the club, Sam Stanton and Ben Williamson, both made impressive debuts against the Pars, with Stanton voted man of the match by the Raith fans.

McGlynn called his display “outstanding” and says he will have a hugely positive impact on the team.

"I think with his influence he'll make us a better team and help take us forward,” he said.

“The potential is there. I thought he had a great game in the midfield area.

“You can see his range of passing and he wasn't scared to get forward. He probably had our best opportunity to score.

“I thought Ben had a very good first half. He just felt his calves tighten up so we took him off after 70 minutes or so.

“I think he'll be a good asset as well.

“The signs are good.”

Raith will now try to get their season back on track this weekend with a tough trip to play fellow promotion chasers Inverness, a side they’ve failed to beat over 90 minutes since October 2000.

McGlynn said: “It's a good game to go and play in and try and break this hoodoo.

“The league is so tight and there's a long way to go so it's not like this is a league decider by any manner of means.

“But if we can go up there and win it's going to really put the cat among the pigeons.

“We'll be right back in the middle of it all.

“They're all big games though. We played a team in the bottom five last weekend and it wasn't any easier.

“There are no easy games. Hopefully we can get the crowds back in sooner rather than later and get a good atmosphere too.”

He added: “Our destiny is in our own hands, it's up to us to go and produce.”