Raith Rovers midfielder Ethan Ross confident that emphasis on attack will pay off

Ethan Ross in action for Raith Rovers against Ayr United in October last year at Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group)Ethan Ross in action for Raith Rovers against Ayr United in October last year at Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group)
Ethan Ross in action for Raith Rovers against Ayr United in October last year at Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers midfielder Ethan Ross admits the Fifers are still a work in progress at the moment as they adapt to a new way of playing, but he’s confident they’re getting there and that their progress will pay dividends in terms of results before too long.

New manager Ian Murray wants to see the Fifers pressing their opponents more than previously, requiring them to up their game fitness-wise, and that’s a challenge they’re happy to take up, according to the 21-year-old.

“We’re still learning and we’re still trying to get better on the pitch every day in training,” he said.

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“It’s a new season. We’ve got a lot of new players in and obviously a new management team as well.

“The gaffer’s trying to implement his new ideas and we’re taking that all on board.

“Training’s very intense. The new gaffer’s come in and he’s brought his own ideas of how he wants us to play – very attacking and he’s not scared to make changes at the end of games, taking off defenders and bringing on attackers.

“That shows we’re never going to give up and we’re going to keep fighting right to the end even if it’s just for a point or for all three.

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“That’s the biggest difference he’s made – the real intent on high pressing and playing attacking football.

“Every week, all of us are working on our fitness and doing running to make sure we’re at the level that the gaffer needs us to be at to play the style of football he wants us to play.

“It is intense and it is tough but I think you can see the benefits that you get from it from looking at his teams at Airdrie over the last couple of seasons. They were just non-stop and they were right at it right to the end of games, and that came from the fitness work they did in training.

“We’re just about there at the level we need to be at.

“It was a bit of a shock maybe the intensity he wanted us to play at, but we’re all learning and we’re getting a grasp of it now and we’re excited for the rest of the season.”

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Raith’s next opposition, at Stark’s Park in Kirkcaldy on Saturday, are Ayr United, currently top of the Scottish Championship table with 14 points from six games, thanks in large part to the seven goals scored by new centre-forward Dipo Akinyemi in those half-dozen games.

That’s seven places and eight points better off than their hosts, but Ross is confident he and his team-mates are more than a match for the South Ayrshire side.

“We’re going into the game with high hopes we can come away with a win,” he said.

“We’ve probably not had the best start, but that’s to be expected when you have such a big turnover, and we’re all behind each other and hoping to get back to winning ways.

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“Ayr are a strong team. We watched them on BBC Scotland a couple of weeks ago beating Dundee and they looked to be a good team.

“They’ve got physical presence up front with the new boy they’ve brought in and they’ve got our old centre-back Frankie Musonda at the back as well, who we know all about.

“They’re a good team but we believe we’re a good team as well so we’ve got to go toe to toe with them, and we’re hopeful that we’ll come away with three points.

“We’ve got to back ourselves against any team in this league. I don’t think anyone’s much superior to us.

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“We’ve got to go out there expecting that we’re going to win and hopefully that’ll be the case.

“We’ve just got to keep our heads down and try to pick up as many points as we can.

“The league is really tight, especially from mid-table to the bottom. Every single season, there’s never really one team that runs away with it.

“We just need to make sure we’re picking up points and getting away from that bottom end of the table.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 3pm.