Cuthbert a contender for Raith job but focus is on Brechin

Raith caretaker manager Kevin Cuthbert.
Raith caretaker manager Kevin Cuthbert.

Raith Rovers caretaker boss Kevin Cuthbert insists his sole focus is on preparing the team for Brechin on Saturday amid speculation over the managerial vacancy.

Cuthbert is thought to be among the leading contenders for the post, with the board prepared to give the former goalkeeper some time as interim gaffer before making their choice.

If the board opt to promote from within, it would be the 36-year-old’s first job in management, although he has the advantage of knowing the squad, having been at the club for the past four years, firstly as a player, and then as first team coach under Barry Smith.

“All I can do is focus on the day-to-day things,” Cuthbert told the Press. “I can’t comment too much on my future because I simply don’t know.

“I’ve got the opportunity to take team against Brechin, and hopefully, whatever happens, we’re sitting at the top of the league on Saturday night.”

Having completed the necessary coaching badges, Cuthbert has made no secret of his desire to turn to management one day, with his preference to work alongside an experienced assistant.

Speaking hypothetically about his prospects of becoming Raith manager, he added: “Depending on what happened, I’d look to broaden my coaching team.

“Recognising your own weaknesses is your biggest strength, and for me, experience is one thing I lack so if things were to go that way, for talking sake, I would look to get experience round about me.”

READ MORE: Raith prepared to bide time in search for right manager

In order to win favour among the support, Cuthbert will be required to provoke a reaction from his players following Saturday’s poor Challenge Cup defeat at Ross County.

His first match in caretaker charge ended in a 5-0 thumping, but he is confident that the players will bounce back when the league resumes at Glebe Park on Saturday.

“The reaction I’ve had from the players been outstanding,” he said. “Everyone to a man has reacted in a positive way and in the manner that I expect, and demand.

“You can’t focus on things in the past, all you can do is learn from your mistakes, and as an individual and collectively, I’d like to think we’ve learned a lot from Saturday. I’ll certainly learn from Saturday and become better for it.

“If that helps us going forward in the league campaign, that’s the best we can do now. We can only take the positives from what happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Despite being left as the only coach at the club following Barry Smith’s sudden departure last week, Cuthbert admitted that he is enjoying the responsibility placed on him.

“I’m doing about eight jobs but I’m loving every minute of it,” he said. “You either cry the blues, or you get on with it and I’m the type of person that likes to be hands-on.

“I’ve enjoyed being organised and working hard - that’s the type of person I am. Even if there were four or five people in here around me, I’d still be wanting to work as hard as I could.”

Nathan Flanagan will return to the squad following a family bereavement while Iain Davidson is also available for selection again following his latest suspension.