‘No excuses’ as Raith boss blasts players for Cowdenbeath defeat

New Bayview - Methil -  Fife -  Raith v Cowdenbeath  -  Ross Matthews and Euan Murray challenge Cowdenbeath's double goalscorer Jordyn Sheerin - credit- Fife Photo Agency
New Bayview - Methil - Fife - Raith v Cowdenbeath - Ross Matthews and Euan Murray challenge Cowdenbeath's double goalscorer Jordyn Sheerin - credit- Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith blasted his players after starting the season with a 2-0 defeat to lower league opposition in the Betfred Cup on Saturday.

Rovers went down 2-0 to Cowdenbeath in the opening group match at Bayview, the club’s temporary home while work continues on the artificial surface at Stark’s Park.

Depleted Raith were missing five key members of the squad, and could only name two outfield substitutes, but a stern-faced Smith refused to blame the defeat on injuries.

“Take nothing away from Cowdenbeath because they deserved their win, but we were nowhere near good enough, and we would expect a lot more,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of chances in the first half, and a wee bit of rustiness with attempts at goal, but even then, we’d be expecting to control the game far more than we did.

“In the second half we conceded two terrible goals, and the boys have been told in no uncertain terms that they need to do better.

“We’ve got a lot of injuries at the moment, but the team we put out, we had full belief would win the game, so no excuses.

“There was enough experience in that team that we should be winning that game.”

After the disappointment of missing out on promotion last season, Raith had approached the season opener in confidence after impressive pre-season friendly wins over Championship opposition.

But Smith added: “There were a lot of positives to take from the friendlies, but when the real competitive stuff starts, that’s when it matters, and too many boys didn’t turn up.”

With a live televised match against Hearts to come this Saturday, and little respite expected on the injury front, Smith admitted major improvements in performance will be required.

“We might have one back at best,” he said. “It’s a bad injury list at the moment, but we should still be winning that game with what was on the pitch.”