Clarke looks to bounce back from horror show

Pat Clarke gets to 'grips' with a Livingston defender
Pat Clarke gets to 'grips' with a Livingston defender

RAITH Rovers striker Pat Clarke believes a Fife derby victory will be the perfect way to recover from Saturday’s nightmare against Livingston.

The 2-0 home defeat continued Rovers’ rotten record against the West Lothian outfit, but Clarke is looking to bounce back against his former club.

“Saturday’s first half was probably up there with one of the worst we’ve played,” he told the Press.

“From kick-off we just didn’t get to grips at all with the way they were playing.

“The penalty was harsh and the second goal was a ricochet, but overall we never played well enough to merit a result.

“We came into it in the second half and managed to pin them back a bit, but we couldn’t get a goal.

“We just have to get Saturday out the system and we couldn’t ask for a better game to go into.

“Dunfermline have got their problems, but that won’t effect how they play. They will want to win the game.

“They have got the better of us in recent derbies so come Saturday we want to change that.”

Clarke has played on both sides of the Fife derby divide and he relishes the rivalry.

“There’s something special about these derbies - it’s an old cliche but it’s true,” he said.

“The atmosphere the fans can create if they turn out in numbers sets these games apart.

“We’ve under-achieved in derbies this season so we need to make sure that from the first whistle we treat it like a derby.

“We won’t get much time on the ball and it won’t be pretty. You need to roll the sleeves up and battle if you’re to win these types of games.”

While keen to put one over his former club, he admits he feels sympathy for his former team mates at East End Park as the club battles to avoid liquidation.

“I read about them in papers every day and it’s a real shame,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that the club was enjoying success - winning the first division and playing in the SPL.

“Football can be sad at times the way things change. I really hope they get a financial boost from somewhere and pull through.

“There are a lot of good boys at the club and they’ve got bills to pay and families to support, same as us.”

Clarke admitted that a career as a lower league footballer in Scotland is currently an uncertain one.

“There’s not much security in football right now and contracts are basically year to year,” he said.

“That’s why everyone is desperate for reconstruction and a cash injection because the game is really struggling right now.

“It’s great being a football player, you get up and go to training every day, but people dont see the other side of it when times are uncertain.”