Raith hitman Poplatnik has belief in a top four finish

Matej Poplatnik says everyone at Raith Rovers has belief that can snatch a play-off place before the end of the season.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 9:00 am
Poplatnik scores at Firhill. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)
Poplatnik scores at Firhill. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

Defeat at Partick Thistle would have ended Rovers’ hopes of finishing in the top four but the Slovenian striker’s last-minute winner cut the gap between the two sides to three points with two games remaining.

He said the squad have belief that they can leapfrog the fourth-placed Jags, starting with this weekend’s trip to Hamilton.

“We have to keep believing at the end of the day,” he said, “we must do our best.

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Matej Poplatnik (R) celebrates with Aidan Connolly after scoring the last minute winner at Partick. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

"I will do my best. For sure, I will do my best.

"We need now to make a good recovery and prepare for Hamilton.

"I am trying all last season.

"Also, the first part of this season, I was trying really hard but not scoring so many goals.

"Now finally I am scoring, so I am hoping I will manage to score a couple more."

The 29-year-old says he believes Raith were worthy winners at Firhill, despite leaving it late to settle the match.

"How many points have we lost in the last couple of minutes this year?

"So, finally, we defend well, we played well and we deserved the three points.

"With our win today, we played really well.

"We need to look forward to playing like today, or even better.”

After a slow start scoring-wise, the Livingston loanee has now hit six in his last seven games, admitting it took him a while to find his confidence at Stark’s Park.

"I am delighted because my confidence is back. Finally, I am enjoying my job.

"If a striker does not score goals, he is not a striker.

"But, in our team for example, Ethan [Ross] did not score so many goals but worked so hard, looked good and set me a couple of goals.

"Okay, strikers need to score goals but, in our team, strikers I think also do hard work in the defence, so I think it's good.

“It was hard [not scoring] but behind me were my family, my agent, my friends and, of course, my team mates, the gaffer and all the staff, all the people around the club.

"They supported me and I was working hard and believed and, finally I started scoring.”

He added: “The confidence is in the right place.”