Buchanan: Title now a big ask – but not impossible

Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan. Pic: Walter Neilson
Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan. Pic: Walter Neilson

With three league titles to his name, veteran Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan knows all about the twists and turns that can go into deciding a championship.

The 33-year-old was part of the Dunfermline Athletic team that pipped Raith to the old First Division title in 2010-11 having trailed the Kirkcaldy side most of the way.

In his younger days at Cowdenbeath, he also clinched a league title on the final day of the season, while last year, he was part of the Livingston side that romped home in League One.

Adding a fourth league winners medal to his collection this term is looking unlikely after Raith’s 1-1 draw with Arbroath on Saturday left them five points behind leaders Ayr with three games left.

However, Buchanan insists that nothing is decided yet.

“It’s a big ask, but it’s not impossible,” he said.

“Football has a funny way of throwing upsets in and things you’d never expect so we just need to keep believing and trying to win football matches.

“When I was at Cowdenbeath we won it on the last day and ended up beating Elgin City on goal difference, so anything can happen.

“We’re not in the position we want to be in, but there’s nothing more we can do apart from go and win our last three games.

“Both ourselves and Ayr have been in good situations throughout the season and neither of us have capitalised.

“They’re in a great position now, and we’ve just go to hope that we do our jobs and if there’s any slip-ups we’re there to take advantage of it.”

Buchanan returned to the starting XI on Saturday and looked to have set Rovers on a path towards three points after winning, and then converting a first half penalty.

A second half equaliser from Leighton McIntosh brought Arbroath level, before Buchanan missed a glorious chance to steal the three points, blasting over from six yards with a minute to go.

“You always want to do better any time you miss a chance,” he said.

“I don’t know if it took a bobble. I thought I was just going to slot it in and it never happened.

“It’s just one of those things. There’s better strikers than me missed chances.

“I just move on and try to take the next one.

“It’s just hard knowing that we should have won the game.

“We got done by a set piece, and regardless of what other teams are doing, we’re disappointed whenever we don’t win.

“We just need to pick ourselves back up.”

The promotion play-offs now look like Raith’s only route back to the Championship, but Buchanan insists the focus for now remains on catching Ayr.

“We don’t want to talk about the play-offs at the moment until we can’t win the league,” he said.

“We’re focusing on trying to win the next three games and trying to be as positive as we can.”