Back to our main focus on the league

Busy goalmouth action between St Mirren and Raith Rovers (picture by Eddie Doig)
Busy goalmouth action between St Mirren and Raith Rovers (picture by Eddie Doig)

Scott Robertson hopes to be back in the Raith squad this weekend, at home to Arbroath, having been out through injury – like several of his team mates.

And, like the rest of the players, he knows Saturday’s game is likely to be very different from the encounter last week with St Mirren.

Barry Smith’s men have won a good deal of praise for toppling the team at the top of the Championship table, on their own ground, in the Irn Bru Challenge Cup.

But Rovers, who were in the same division as the Paisley side last season, handled their preparations well.

Despite their first defeat of the league season a week earlier against Albion Rovers, it had been a game to look forward to, said Robertson – which every game was.

“We have played against tough opposition already this season in the League Cup with Dundee and Dundee United, and we more than matched them on the day,” he said.

“It was the same against St Mirren – it was probably about even in chances, and the scoreline says we were the better team.”

The side’s qualities were probably summed up by the swiftness of their response after going behind.

He said: “It shows a lot of character – we were behind in the game for 25 seconds but we showed the right reaction. We went straight up the park and scored from kick off, so it’s a sign of what we are capable of – going to a place like that, performing well and putting a different kind of game plan into practice.”

The tactics had shown that Raith could adjust well against their opponents, whoever they were, added Robertson. “Often, we are set up to have a lot of the ball but, on Saturday, we set up to contain the opposition and try to hit on the counter-attack,” he explained.

It was the perfect kind of result to herald a return this weekend to the league, which is their chief priority.

“We are back to focusing on the league,” said Robertson. “It was great to win a cup game and get to the quarter-final but we are back to league business, and that is our main focus. “We will study Arbroath this week and get opinions from people who have seen them, and we’ll prepare.”

The squad was not dwelling too much on the defeat at Coatbridge, having made such a good start to this season’s League One campaign.

“It doesn’t matter what results have gone before – you always want to win every game,” said Robertson. “The mindset has to be about the game that’s coming up.”

“Rovers had possibly put themselves in a position where people expected them to win,” said Robertson, “but that was not always the case – League One was very difficult and teams could take points from each other.”

Arbroath had gone to Ayr and won, while their away form also included big back-to-back wins over Forfar Athletic and Stranraer.

“We don’t imagine it will be the same sort of game, though – it changes every week,” said Robertson. “Albion Rovers were different from St Mirren and St Mirren will be different from Arbroath. If we can come up with a good enough game plan and execute it the way we want to, we will give ourselves a chance to win.”