Raith Rovers 'still well in title race' despite defeat at Dundee United says Ian Murray

Raith Rovers gaffer Ian Murray reckons his team is still very much in the hunt for winning the 2023-24 Scottish Championship despite last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at title rivals Dundee United.
Raith Rovers manager Iain Murray pictured at Tannadice on Saturday (Pic by Ewan Bootman/SNS Group)Raith Rovers manager Iain Murray pictured at Tannadice on Saturday (Pic by Ewan Bootman/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers manager Iain Murray pictured at Tannadice on Saturday (Pic by Ewan Bootman/SNS Group)

Second-placed Raith are on 58 points with six games to play, four points adrift of United on 62 points with five games remaining, with Murray’s men facing three home games in a week from this Saturday against Ayr United, Airdrieonians and Partick Thistle respectively.

Murray told RaithTV: “There’s still a long way to go in this league, there’s loads of twists to come.

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"Everybody’s fighting like mad for something, we’re all trying to get points, no games are ever easy.

"We’re all fighting and scratching. We know what we’ve got to do.

"We probably need to win four minimum out of the six games we have, possibly five, and then we’ve got a really, really good opportunity.

"But that’s going to be tough. We have a really hard week next week, three games in seven days, but they are all at home and that’s where we like to be.

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"If we win those three then the maximum we can be at the end of them all is one point off the top going into the last three and then we just see what happens.”

Describing last Saturday’s defeat as ‘a really tough, quite scrappy’ encounter, Murray praised his team’s start at Tannadice.

He added: “I thought we started the game like a train, really, really well the first five, six minutes.

"We looked camped in United’s half with two really, really good opportunities to try and take the lead and then we get hit with a sucker punch and a goal, a setplay and a second phase and Tony Watt showed really good quality.

"It was a simple, basic goal and I felt it undid us.

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"Then I felt we had to weather a big storm from Dundee United. They came at us, they were lively, they were energetic and we were just that yard off it at times.

"But we did weather that and we were very unfortunate not to go in at the break level with Zak (Rudden) who had a really good effort that hit the underside of the bar.

"It probably goes in at the other end because of the slope here, but that’s the fine margins of football and the fine margins that can get you points or defeats.

"It was a great effort from Zak, he kind of came alive at that point as well. It was really hard up there on his own against two big centre-halves who were physical and heading and kicking everything away.

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"Then we tried to change shape a wee bit and change personnel second half to get energy into our team an try and find a goal to get back into the game.

"The ball just wouldn’t fall for us in the box.

"Second half I thought we were slightly the better team, didn’t create enough chances in the game though.

"We just couldn’t. I thought Dundee United defended very well, they nullified pur attacking threats really, really well so I have to give credit to the opposition as well.

"And then the second goal completely kills us really.

"I think you could feel and see the energy sapped from the players and the supporters.”

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