Raith Rovers loan signing Steven Anderson: I’m here to defend first and foremost

Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'Raith v Falkirk - new signing STEVEN ANDERSON -'credit- Fife Photo Agency
Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'Raith v Falkirk - new signing STEVEN ANDERSON -'credit- Fife Photo Agency

The list of Steven Anderson’s career achievements are impressive.

A First Division title, six consecutive top six finishes in the Premiership, five seasons in Europe, a Scottish Cup winner, scoring in the final, St Johnstone’s all-time record appearance holder.

And now the 33-year-old defender is bringing his wealth of experience to Raith Rovers after making the move from McDiarmid Park on a season-long loan last week.

Anderson made his Rovers debut in the 2-0 win over Falkirk on Saturday, coming off the bench early in the second half to replace the injured Iain Davidson.

Despite having not yet trained with his new team mates, or played any football since July 21, the centre-half slotted into the back four with ease and helped the team towards a clean sheet.

“It wasn’t expected but Davo was struggling with his hammy and I was asked if I’d be ready - and of course I’m ready,” Anderson said.

“I’ve not played a lot of football so it was nice to get on the field again.

“I was looking to get out and play because I knew my chances were going to be limited.

“John McGlynn got in contact with club the day after the transfer window shut, I spoke to him and it got done quickly after that. Now I just need to get my season going.”

The move to Raith is Anderson’s second loan transfer of 2019, having spent the second half of last season at Partick Thistle in the Championship.

Having been a pivotal figure at St Johnstone for the best part of a decade, racking up a club record 441 appearances, he has found it tough to be out of the first team picture in Perth.

“I can’t say much because I’m still a player there, but it’s been difficult,” Anderson said.

“I’ve kept my head down and worked hard but the centre-halves there, Jason Kerr and Liam Gordon, have been very good, so my chances have been limited.

“I needed to go and play, and now I’m here to hopefully help towards promotion.”

Having dropped two divisions, Anderson admitted that he was surprised by the standard of football on display at Stark’s Park on Saturday.

“I’ve got limited experience at League One level, but the boys play at a high standard,” he said.

“I’ve watched some highlights so I knew what they were like. They try to get the ball down and pass and it’s nice on the eye at times.

“Sometimes you can leave yourselves a bit open to conceding goals, but I’m just a defender first and foremost.

“Raith are a team that scores goals so if you keep clean sheets you’ll win the majority of games.”

Fans will hope Anderson’s arrival can bolster a defence that has been conceding too many goals, both this season and last.

“I’ll just do what I usually do – talk, defend, and help the younger ones,” he said.

“You’ve got Davo and Benedictus in there as well, so it’s not as if you’re limited for experience at the back.

“We’ll just talk and try to keep clean sheets.”