Go-kart outing can get Raith motoring again

07-01-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. KIRKCALDY. Stark's Park. Raith Rovers FC v Falkirk FC. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship. Gary Locke and Darren Jackson.
07-01-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. KIRKCALDY. Stark's Park. Raith Rovers FC v Falkirk FC. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship. Gary Locke and Darren Jackson.

Raith Rovers boss Gary Locke hopes an afternoon of go-karting can help his side return to top gear in the Championship.

The team building outing after training on Tuesday helped raise spirits among the players after back-to-back defeats against Dunfermline and Falkirk.

“I like to do team building events with the players every now and again.It was good to get everybody together and do something different,” Locke told the Press.

“The boys enjoyed it and it was good for team spirit to spend some social time together away from the importance of the training pitch.

“It was a great way for boys to relax and let off some steam, but the most important thing is that we get back to winning games again.”

A run of eight league games without a win has resulted in Raith slipping six point behind Morton in the table ahead of the trip to Cappielow tomorrow.

“How quickly things can change,” Locke said. “A week ago we were talking about being on a good run now we’ve had two defeats and it’s a disaster.

“We’re disappointed with the last two results, but we haven’t become a bad team. There was not a great deal between the teams on Saturday – we just lost bad goals.

“Falkirk had three shots on goal and scored three times – that’s the way things are going for us – but there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves.

“We’ve got to make sure we respond in the right manner on Saturday. If we can go to Morton and win, then everything changes and we’re right back in the mix again.”

Raith have retained Rangers midfielder Jordan Thompson on loan until the end of the season while winger Scott Roberts has made a permament switch to Stark’s Park as part of the deal that saw David Bates move to Ibrox for an undisclosed fee.

On losing Bates, Locke added: “Not that we want to be selling our best players, but we’re a really young squad and myself, Darren Jackson and Craig Easton want to make these players better so they can go onto bigger things.

“It’s great to see players you’ve worked with go on and fulfil their potential. That’s why I take great pride in how well the Hearts lads have done.

“It’s difficult when a club like Rangers come in for your players because you very rarely get to keep hold of them, but I’m delighted for the player.

“He’s gone to Rangers on loan and done well. They see a lot of potential in him.”

Ryan Stevenson, Ross Matthews and Jean-Yves M’voto are all receiving treatment for injuries, and are doubtful for the trip to Greenock.

Craig Barr completed 90 minutes in midweek closed doors game against Dundee United that also resulted in a horrific injury to goalkeeper Aaron Lennox.

The Australian, on loan from Aberdeen, sustained broken bones in his hand, a fractured jaw, and lost several teeth in a collision with an opposing striker.

“I’ve never seen a facial injury as bad as that in football,” Locke said. “He’s in good spirits, but it looks like he’s going to miss two or three months.”

As a result, Raith have extended the contract of Connor Brennan while defender Kyle Benedictus has also signed a new one year contract until 2018.