League title is still Raith Rovers’ goal

Rovers' Daniel Armstrong on the attack against Montrose
Rovers' Daniel Armstrong on the attack against Montrose

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn insists his side still have a chance of winning the League One title.

The Kirkcaldy side sit 13 points behind runaway leaders Arbroath, heading towards the halfway point of the season.

John McGlynn

John McGlynn

But the Stark’s Park boss says there are still plenty of points to play for and, despite Saturday’s 3-2 loss away to Montrose, he says his side will fight for every point from now until the end of the season, as they try to close the gap.

“We’ll never give up on the title,” he says. “Not at all.

“We’re two games away from being halfway through the season. There area a couple of ways this could go.

“We could win our next two games and then maybe the gap is down to 10 points, then to seven. Who knows?

“Or the worst case scenario, it goes up to 16 or so.

“But we’ll never give up. Absolutely not.

“No matter what, our season will continue. If we can’t win promotion by the fourth of May, then we will continue into the month with the great chance of getting promoted through the play-offs.

“So we need to be playing well in every single game and, ideally, that’s what we set out to do every week.”

McGlynn says his side needs to improve its away form, with recent losses to Forfar, East Fife and Montrose putting a dent into their title challenge.

He says it was the second half in each of those games that cost Rovers the points.

“We are trying to overcome that,” he said.

“You think you’ve won that battle; winning at Hampden, winning at Stenhousemuir – our last two away games – and we won our last home game 3-0, so we went to Montrose thinking we’re not going to be apprehensive about playing away from home.

“We want the mentality to be that we can win home and away, and those three games, Forfar, East Fife and Montrose, were ones we were very capable of winning.

“We were in a winning position in all these games. We should have had Forfar and East Fife buried in the first halves.

“It’s something we’ve talked about, how we tailed off in the second half of those games.

“We pass the ball exceptionally well. It might be easy for me to say but I think we’re the best football team in the league. Hopefully, that’s enough to go and win the league or get promotion, whatever it may be.

“But going into the second half of a match, we recognise that, sometimes, there’s something that isn’t quite right, so we need to adjust whatever is happening so that we can start the second half better.

“We want to continue what we’re doing in the first half.

“That’s the challenge we face every week because at three o’clock just before that whistle goes you’re never entirely sure what’s going to happen.

“But we have been starting games consistently well, but not so much when we go into the second half.

“So we need to keep starting the first half consistently well, try and get goals in that half and keep a grip of the game in the second half and try and deny our opponents a way back into it.

“I don’t think we’re far away, but obviously we are dropping points when it come to looking at the league table.”

Rovers will welcome Dumbarton to Kirkcaldy this weekend, the team that McGlynn faced in his first game after returning as Rovers boss where he watched his side romp to a 5-1 win.

He says he wants to see his side start on a winning run from this weekend.

“Our home record is really good so we want to maintain that.

“Dumbarton may be reeling from the last time we played them.

“They certainly don’t have their troubles to seek as they’re working with a tight squad due to injuries.

“They’ve been a bit up and down; they’ve won games but then they’ve lost by large margins too.

“They’re in that position where (manager) Jim Duffy is trying to get the best out of the players he has available to him.

“They got a decent draw last week against Airdrie and Jim is a very experienced manager and he’s not going to come her and let us steamroller them.

“However, we’ve got to think about ourselves and we want to finish this quarter with two wins so that means going out on Saturday and start to get a run going and building momentum again.

“Dumbarton stand between us doing that so we aim to go out and win the game and start another run.”