Cuthbert keen to make most of opportunity in Raith dug-out

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

Kevin Cuthbert insists he is ignoring the caretaker tag and treating his time in charge of Raith Rovers as he would if permanent manager.

While standard procedure for an interim boss might be to simply hold the fort until the next manager arrives, Cuthbert is grasping the opportunity to put his own stamp on things.

As well as changing up the team selection and formation for the 1-1 draw at Brechin on Saturday, the former goalkeeper is also implementing his own ideas in training.

The 36-year-old stopped short of confirming that he wants the job full-time, but his actions appear to speak louder than words.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen but the players have to recognise that I’m in charge,” he told the Press.

“There’s no room for anybody who thinks they can take their foot off the gas, or wait to see what happens. No chance.

“No matter what happens, we’re looking to try and win games. I’m working hard for the players because I want them to be holding a trophy at the end of the season.

“This period now, the first quarter, we want to make sure we’re improving every week so that we can take this fitness and energy into the rest of the season.

“It would be wrong of me not to look at it long term because I’ve got to do what’s best for the team.”

The resignation of Barry Smith over a fortnight ago placed Cuthbert in a difficult situation as the only remaining member of the club’s coaching staff.

With reserve games also needing attended to, and no chief executive to fall back on, it has left the caretaker boss with a mountain of work, but he insists he is enjoying the job.

“I’m really enjoying the whole set-up,” he said. “I love everything that comes with the responsibility.

“When I make changes to the team selection and formation, I can’t be worried about the consequences of that going wrong.

“I have to put my ideas in place and believe in them, and if it goes wrong, I can accept that.

“But I don’t want to make decisions based on being worried about what will happen to me in the end.

“I might be trying something different, but I’ve been given an opportunity to do this, and I’m going to do it the way I want to do it.”

Cuthbert is delighted with the response he has been getting from the players, although he admitted his disappointment at failing to hold on for three points at Brechin on Saturday.

“It’s more the manner of the goal,” he said. “We’re more focused on trying to keep a high line rather than actually marking a man.

“Overall I thought the players worked very hard, but the decision-making in the final third could have been better.”

Euan Murray and Chris Duggan are both injury doubts for Saturday’s home match against Montrose.

Cuthbert will likely require a victory to convince the doubters over his job credentials, however he is simply focused on the three points.

“Realistically we need to win, but that’s the pressure of being a team at the top of the league,” he said. “The players know that, and we’re looking forward to it.”