Raith Rovers midfielder Sam Stanton reveals main reason he feels Raith are doing so much better than last season

The nightmare scenario of only having two outfield substitutes – which reared its head on more than one occasion in last season’s run in as injury-ravaged Raith Rovers’ promotion challenge faded – is now a distant memory as the Stark’s Park side’s much-improved squad battles with Dundee United for the Scottish Championship crown this term.
Sam Stanton is extremely happy to be at Raith Rovers (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)Sam Stanton is extremely happy to be at Raith Rovers (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)
Sam Stanton is extremely happy to be at Raith Rovers (Pic by Mark Scates/SNS Group)

And Raith midfielder Sam Stanton, 29, told the Fife Free Press that he believes the Kirkcaldy side’s strength in depth this term is probably the main difference from the previous campaign.

"We had games last year where we only had two substitutes on the bench which was very difficult over the course of a season,” Stanton said.

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"Now we have five, six guys that can come on and probably change a game which is what you need. I think it keeps everybody on their toes and you know that if you are under performing there is somebody else coming in.

"It's a great thing to have as a squad, when you pick up injuries or suspensions, that there's somebody there to come in. It's better for the whole club.”

When asked about the realistic prospect of Raith being able to achieve promotion – either automatically or via the play-offs – this season, Stanton outlined his enthusiasm about potentially helping take the Kirkcaldy team into Scotland’s top flight for the first time since 1997.

“It's very exciting,” he said. “Obviously it's been a very long time since the club have been in the Premier League so it would be great for everybody involved if we could manage to do it.

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"Fingers crossed we can get over the line, it would be absolutely amazing.”

Stanton, who last December signed a contract extension to stay at Raith until June 2026, added: "The new owners have come in and there has been a big change at the club.

"I'm happy where I am. It's great for me, it's good for my family, so it was quite an easy decision to make. We've got a house nearby, the kids go to school in the area.

"The decision to stay at Raith wasn't just for me, there were a lot of reasons. Like most people with your job, if it suits your family it's great.

"We're all very happy where we are so it was a combination of the two, between being happy at the football club and being happy outside the football as well.”

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