John McGlynn reckons Raith Rovers are the best footballing side in League One, but warned it will take more than pretty football to win promotion.
Rovers produced some sparkling attacking football in their 3-0 Scottish Cup win over Queen’s Park at Hampden, with moves which started from the goalkeeper ending up in the back of the opposition net.
But as the team returns to league duty this Saturday with a home match against Airdrie, McGlynn has reminded his players to roll the sleeves up and prepare for battle.
“Saturday was a performance to savour” McGlynn said. “I know Queen’s are a league below, and we’re not getting carried away, but credit where it’s due, we played some tremendous football. The wingers were unstoppable at times, and the goals were great moves. If it was in the Premiership and on TV you’d be seeing them over and over again.
“I’m pleased with that, and we can breed confidence from it, but when you come back into this league, the quality and physicality of the opposition, and sometimes the nature of the pitch, means that it’s not all about pretty football.
“It takes a lot of different qualities to win games in this league and we go into a difficult game against an Airdrie side who have won their last three games, so they will be every bit as buoyant as we are.
“If it was all about football we’d be in a really strong position, because I think we are the best footballing team in the league. But sometimes you’ve got to roll your sleeves up and coming into the winter months, as we are now, when conditions are not always conducive to perfect football, because of pitches and weather, then this will be a testing time.
“However, we’re slowly getting there with the characteristics you need to go on and win games consistently.”
McGlynn hailed midfielder Grant Gillespie who played 75 minutes at right-back in his first game back from a nine-week injury lay-off.
To be out for so long and produce the performance he did speaks volumes for him,” he said. “In my previous job I had to watch a lot of Premiership football. I watched Hamilton a number of times, and Grant played at right-back a lot. He reckons he’s probably played around half his career there, so it was a no-brainer. I felt we could improve in that position, and that’s how I wanted to go.”
Callum Crane is likely to remain sidelined with a knee injury, while Lewis Vaughan is two weeks into a six to eight week recovery following his second groin operation of the year. Regan Hendry remains sidelined until the new year while Kieran Wright is expected to return on loan from Rangers after recuperating from a shoulder injury.