Hard work will stop the rot, says Raith boss

Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke. Pic: Steven Brown
Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke. Pic: Steven Brown

Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke has told his players to get back to hard work after three defeats on the bounce.

Rovers impressed in early season games with their tempo and work-rate, however, Locke admitted that the team has not reached those standards in the last three games.

And with Dumbarton visiting Stark’s Park on Saturday, the Raith boss is demanding a return of the determination, fight and spirit that saw his team start the season on fire.

“We’ve come off it a bit – and we have to get back to that,” he said.

“You’ve got to work extremely hard in this league, and we’ve shown that, when we do, we have got quality throughout the squad.

“We need to get back to working hard, everybody doing their jobs and moving the ball quicker – one of the key things we’ve worked on this week at training.

“If we do that, we’re more than confident we can get back on track.

“I’ll also be encouraging the players to be more expressive in the final third because that’s been a disappointment for me in the last two league games – we haven’t looked as much of a threat going forward.

“It’s a blip, and I said all along we’d hit a tough period in the league at some point.

“We’ve had a couple of defeats, but it’s important we bounce back and no better place to do it than at Stark’s Park on Saturday.”

With the injury list decreasing, Locke warned his players that they will need to perform to stay in the team.

“We maybe didn’t have the competition for places we needed in the last few games, but we’re certainly getting a few bodies back now, so there won’t be any excuses,” he said.

“If players want to stay in the team, they’ll need to play well.”

Raith skipper Jason Thomson had a scan on his knee this week after missing the Queen of the South match with tendonitis, and is rated doubtful.

“In the two games he’s missed we’ve lost three goals,” Locke said.

“I’m not saying we’re a one man army by any manner of means, but his experience and calmness in the back four makes a big difference for us.

“Hopefully the scan comes back with nothing too serious because he would be a huge loss to us.”

Locke also faces a decision over whether to stick with Connor Brennan, or recall Kevin Cuthbert, now that his previous number one is back fit.

“Kevin has been back in training for a week and a half now so he’ll be back in contention for the weekend,”

Locke said. “He only trained three or four days last week and had been out a wee while. To be fair Connor he’s been doing okay.

“We’ll make a decision on that at the end of the week.”