Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray says that he and his players laughing at Arbroath goalie scoring against them ‘was turning point’

Raith Rovers gaffer Ian Murray got an inkling that the club’s form could be about to plummit as far back as the home Arbroath league game on December 30, when the high-flying Kirkcaldy men went 2-0 up before drawing 2-2, with Arbroath’s spectacular opener incredibly coming via a 35-yard shot from goalkeeper Ali Adams, a second half substitute.
Arbroath's Ali Adams celebrates after scoring the opener against Raith Rovers during the Scottish Championship match at Starks Park on December 30 (Pic by Paul Byars/SNS Group)Arbroath's Ali Adams celebrates after scoring the opener against Raith Rovers during the Scottish Championship match at Starks Park on December 30 (Pic by Paul Byars/SNS Group)
Arbroath's Ali Adams celebrates after scoring the opener against Raith Rovers during the Scottish Championship match at Starks Park on December 30 (Pic by Paul Byars/SNS Group)

Murray, whose team have lost their last five games in league and cups, told RaithTV: “We as a football club were a wee bit accepting – and I mean everybody – of a goalkeeper coming on the pitch and scoring a goal against us.

"We all thought it was funny, it was a good laugh.

"It wasn’t. And since then it’s been one way for us.

"We’ve obviously had the derby win in there at East End Park which is great but at the moment that doesn’t feel that it counts for very much.

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"So we have to get back to being really, really proud of the way that we go about our business, the way that we can show quality but also the other side, of the way that we can run, the way we can match runners, the way we can win physical 50/50s, the way that we can dig out a 1-0.

"We heard it at the start of the season, Raith hanging onto 1-0 wins or 2-1s or whatever it may be.

"But at the moment we’re not doing that. We’re not finding ways to win games and we have to do that very, very quickly if we want to stay in this title challenge.”

Murray is currently part way through two weeks of preparation for hosting title rivals Dundee United in a crucial Scottish Championship encounter on Friday, Februray 16, which Rovers – who have amassed 44 points from 22 games – go into four points behind United.

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The boss added: “You have to speak to the players and see how they're feeling, good and bad.

"Sometimes in these moments you hear things you don't want to hear. But you have to hear them, you have to take them on board, you have to be big enough and strong enough to take criticism.

"Normally you'll find we're competitors and especially footballers. They are probably the most self critical people you'll meet.

"We all love the adulation and the plaudits when they come our way.

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"But you have to be big enough to take the hits when they come your way and there's always hits in football unfortunately.

"There's never a plain sailing process.

"But we have to just stick together because you don't work as hard as we have since the summer putting the infrastructure in place as a football club, helping recruitment and analysis to get to where we are to get to where we are and then let it fall away.

"Perversely, when you're under the cosh a little bit and you're losing games, you can either go back into your shell and think everything's going to be ok or you come out and you start swinging harder than you've ever done before."