One game at a time for Raith boss Smith

Raith manager Barry Smith. Pic: George McLuskie
Raith manager Barry Smith. Pic: George McLuskie

Raith Rovers boss Barry Smith has urged his players to keep taking it one game at time after opening up an eight-point lead in League One.

Rovers have lost just once in 13 games to seize the initiative in the title race, however, with 11 games left, Smith insists there is still plenty work to be done.

He said: “We are in a good position but our focus is on the next game at Albion Rovers.

“There is no point in looking further ahead.

“It can be good looking at the bigger picture and what you can achieve because that can motivate you.

“But we have to concentrate on the short term and that’s the next game.”

Raith’s travel to Cliftonhill on Saturday, the venue where they lost their unbeaten start to the season in September, and Smith says his players will be going all out to avoid a repeat.

“The boys know the pitfalls of going to Cliftonhill,” he said.

“We have had that experience and we do not want it again.

“But I think we have shown in games since then that if we have to roll up the sleeves, we are more than capable of doing that.”

Raith welcomed captain Kyle Benedictus (inset) back into the side on Saturday and Smith reckons he will be a valuable addition for the run-in.

“It’s great to see him back,” he said. “It was a calculated risk playing him as he has been out for a long time.

“But he has trained for a good few weeks now and he is looking fit. He still needs match sharpness but he will only get that by playing games.

“We couldn’t get him a 20s game last week but we just felt it was time to put him back in. He came through it OK with no effects.

“It is good to have a defender of his calibre and experience coming back into the team at this stage of the season.”

Bene’s return meant Dave McKay dropped to the bench, but Smith insisted the 19-year-old defender can be proud of his performances.

He said: “He is a young lad who is still learning the game.

“Now he needs to keep improving. But for the time he was in, he did well.”