Raith Rovers skipper Scott Brown on Tynecastle aim, Arbroath pain and play-off pressure

Brown in action against Arbroath's Ali Adams (Pic Paul Byars/SNS)Brown in action against Arbroath's Ali Adams (Pic Paul Byars/SNS)
Brown in action against Arbroath's Ali Adams (Pic Paul Byars/SNS)
Raith Rovers skipper Scott Brown has emphasised that it would mean “everything” to him to win the Scottish Premiership play-offs and captain the Kirkcaldy side in next season’s top flight.

Brown, 29, and his Raith mates visit Partick Thistle in the play-off semi-final first leg tomorrow (Tuesday), before the return tie in Kirkcaldy this Friday, with the winners earning a two-legged final against either St Johnstone or Ross County on Thursday, May 23 and Sunday, May 26.

The skipper told the Fife Free Press: "It would mean everything for me to get promotion, especially being Raith captain.

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"I was a Hearts fan growing up and I've obviously played at Tynecastle a few times. It would be nice to be able to go there but it's a long, long way away from happening.

Captain Scott Brown has had another fine season for Raith Rovers (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)Captain Scott Brown has had another fine season for Raith Rovers (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)
Captain Scott Brown has had another fine season for Raith Rovers (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

"We're confident in our dressing room but we need to make sure that we're on it.

"There's no point in going out against Partick and then it's over before it's started.

"We were the second best team in the league and it's up to us to prove that over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully if we get through the Thistle tie then we get a shot at the SPL team.

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"The play-offs are going to be very tight and probably quite cagey affairs because there is a lot at stake.

"I think having home advantage for the second leg of the semi-final could be very important.

"That's part of the advantage of finishing second, as well as getting the time off.

"Our home fans have been amazing this season.

"Everybody knows we're going through a cost of living crisis that hopefully we're heading for the other side of.

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"For the fans to be spending so much money and time on us, coming to the home games, coming to the away games, it's been massive this season.

"And we would like to go and put on a show for them hopefully in the second leg.

"The boys are really looking forward to it. We're quite a relaxed group.

"I think that it's been a good couple of years since I've been here.

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"I obviously scooped up a lot of the awards last year which was really good for me personally. We didn't finish as high in the league as we wanted to but to be captain of an SPL team would be really special.”

Raith ended the regular Scottish Championship season just six points behind champions Dundee United, with Brown irked that they couldn’t overhaul the Tannadice side despite taking seven points from the four league games against them.

He added: "Dundee United went on a run where after they beat us (2-0 at Tannadice on March 30) we just couldn't quite get near to them.

"We didn't feel at the time like it was going to be a title decider when we went to Tannadice, but it kind of turned out that way a wee bit.

"We never really got back into it after that.

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"We lost at home to Airdrie (3-1 on April 9) after that and that was really disappointing.

"But it's been an amazing season as a whole.

"Had you offered us this at the start of the season we'd have taken it.

"Obviously to run Dundee United so close it was disappointing but the boys have got over the disappointment.

"Against Arbroath (5-0 Raith home win on May 3) was the best we had played in a good wee bit, which was important.

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"To come up short in trying to catch Dundee United, it can sometimes take a lot out of you, but to have that break off has been nice.”

Brown reckons that only taking one point from four league meetings against Airdrieonians, as well as two late horror shows against Arbroath when Raith drew 2-2 and lost 3-2 respectively having been 2-0 up, were key to them not catching the Tangerines.

"Not beating Airdrie at all was sore,” he said. "Obviously the home game against Airdrie a few weeks ago where we lost 3-1 and it was a chance to put pressure on Dundee United, I think that pretty much sealed the title for them that night I would say.

"The one that the goalie scores for Arbroath. We're 2-0 up in both games against Arbroath and we only walked away with a point.

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"They're the games you kind of look back on and think that: 'We kind of blew it there a little bit'.

"It's always hard to look over things we should have done better.

"The amount of late winners we had at the start of the season was incredible.

"There were games where although we played well, we didn't deserve to win but we somehow managed to snatch a win.

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"We were just coming off the back of momentum somehow and it was just clicking for us.

"You end up where you deserve to be after a 36-game season, so it kind of evens itself out."

Before joining Raith in 2022, Brown spent six years at Peterhead, during which time he lost two League One play-off finals, 7-2 on aggregate to Forfar Athletic in 2016-17 and 2-1 on aggregate to Stenhousemuir in 2017-18.

He said: "The first year I was at Peterhead we were in the League One play-off final as a League One team, so we actually came down the way and we got relegated.

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"So that was obviously not a great start to my Peterhead career.

"But we got the final the second year I was there after finishing a point off Montrose at the top of the league and Stenhousemuir were 25 points behind us but they beat us in the play-off final.

"Listen, that's what the play-offs are all about.

"It's sometimes not the fairest way but it's all about what team's going to peak in these four games and we need to make sure that we're doing that rather than Partick.

"I dare say they are going to fancy their chances against us so it's going to be a tight couple of games I would imagine.

"We need to make sure we do the business in the first leg against Partick. There's no point in coming back to Stark's Park in front of a full house and we've got an uphill task.”

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