Let’s take Celtic form into league

0613013 SSFF raith celtic 'Jason Thomson & Joe Ledley - Raith Rovers against Celtic FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy in the Scottish Cup
0613013 SSFF raith celtic 'Jason Thomson & Joe Ledley - Raith Rovers against Celtic FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy in the Scottish Cup

RAITH Rovers right back Jason Thomson is looking to take the performance levels shown against Celtic into the upcoming league games.

Rovers were unfortunate to lose 3-0 in sell-out Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie at Stark’s Park after falling behind to a debatable penalty-kick.

It then took two late goals in the final seven minutes to eventually secure victory for Celtic against a hard-working and well-organised Raith team.

And Thomson reckons that such a committed display against Partick Thistle this Saturday can end Rovers losing streak in division one.

“Our recent league form has been nothing short of terrible but if we can play like that from now until the end of the season we should be fine,” he said.

“We’ve played well against Partick in our league games this season, but we really need to start picking up points.

“We’ve only had one win in our last 10 or 11 games, so we need to stop the freefall.

“We don’t want to come into the last month of the season needing wins to avoid getting dragged into relegation.

“If we can get the wins now, we’ll be able to relax a bit in the last month of the season.”

Thomson had to put the shackles on his usual bursts forward from right back against a top class Celtic side on Sunday.

“I think everybody could see that the game plan was to sit in a bit,” he said.

“We’d looked at Celtic’s goals and most of them come from breaking away on teams.

“So the plan was keep our shape and frustrate them - which I think we did.

“They were playing a lot of long balls or passes that were never on.

“It was suiting us, but at the same time we were finding it difficult trying to get it up the pitch to Brian (Graham).

“He was a bit isolated but he did his fair share of winning headers, and holding it in and getting free-kicks.

“When we got to half-time at 0-0 we thought we had half a chance.”

Rovers game plan unravelled in the 55th minute when Simon Mensing was harshly penalised for a trip in the box on Kris Commons.

“The penalty was soft,” Thomson said. “Simon was a bit aggrieved about it, but I heard the ref saying if it had been anywhere else on the pitch he’d have given a free-kick.

“I spoke to Commons after it and he said it was a penalty, but probably soft.

“You’ve got to take that on the chin. The game opened up a bit after that and we came more into it with a few crosses and shots.

“But when you leave yourself a bit more open they can hit you on the break at speed and that’s what they did for their second and third goals.

“I thought the pitch might have been a leveller but they are a top class team and got the result in the end.”