Raith Rovers goalkeeper reckons balance in squad is key factor

Jamie MacDonald (picture by Michael Gillen)Jamie MacDonald (picture by Michael Gillen)
Jamie MacDonald (picture by Michael Gillen)
Raith Rovers stopper Jamie MacDonald believes the balance is good in the Stark’s Park team, contributing strongly to the success of the first half of the season.

The ‘keeper played his role in last Saturday’s tough test against Kilmarnock – most notably with an early first-half save from Blair Alston – which helped extend Raith’s unbeaten sequence to 15 matches.

The players were delighted to get the win in a game of limited opportunities, he said, with not too much to do for himself or his opposite number Zach Hemming.

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The result put Rovers on the tails of leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle, while opening up a little gap between them and under-pressure Tommy Wright’s side.

“It’s not a massive gap – we’ve still got a little over half the season to go – but it’s nice to be up and about it,” said MacDonald.

“We started really well. I thought for the first 15 minutes we were excellent, moving the ball well, then Killie kind of caught us a couple of times. After that, we defended well as they were trying to get crosses into the box.

“We have a good balance in the squad just now,” said MacDonald, inset. “We can play but I think the difference between this year and last season is some of last year’s football at times was maybe slightly more free flowing. This season we have a better balance and I think you need that.

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"Our ethos overall is to try to play but we can mix it up a bit physically now, which I think has been a large part of our success this season. I think we struggled with it last season but we have players in to deal with the physical aspect.

"Sometimes you have to grind through games, as recently as the last away game at Arbroath, but the character of our squad this year has been excellent.”

It was now up to the team to take a game at a time and prolong their unbeaten run, if possible, said MacDonald. “Partick Thistle have just come off a good run and will be disappointed with the result last week (a 2-0 home defeat by Arbroath). They will be gunning for the three points to keep them up in that zone. If we get the win, it opens up the gap on them. We’ll go there with confidence but we know it will not be easy.”