Patience is key to maintaining Raith home form

Dario Zanatta is in contention for a start after scoring from the bench against Queen's Park last Saturday - Fife Photo Agency
Dario Zanatta is in contention for a start after scoring from the bench against Queen's Park last Saturday - Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers boss Barry Smith has called for patience on the pitch and in the stands as the team looks to maintain its winning home record this Saturday.

Rovers have collected maximum points from all home fixtures so far this season, and will be hoping to continue that form when Alloa Athletic visit Stark’s Park on Saturday.

After suffering three defeats in a week, Smith’s men got back to winning ways last weekend with 2-0 home victory over Queen’s Park, albeit after enduring a frustrating first half.

The manager admitted it may take a similarly patient approach this Saturday to get a result.

“Queens made it very difficult. They sat right behind the ball and there was very little space to play,” he said.

“That is what a lot of teams do when they come to Stark’s because they know if they open up, we will score.

“We respect that, and understand why they are doing it, but for as much as it can be frustrating, we still have to be patient because we have a massive belief in dressing room that we’ll score.

“At this stage of the season a lot of teams will be happy coming to Stark’s and getting a draw, and Alloa will probably be no different.

“They’ll set up in a way that will make it very difficult for us to get the three points.

“Everybody wants to score early, and if we can do that, brilliant, but sometimes it’s not as easy as that.

“It’s not through lack of effort, but we do know as the game goes on, teams will tire, we will get better, and we’re strong enough to break them down.”

On-loan Hearts forward Dario Zanatta made the difference off the bench last week, and the youngster could be in the frame for only his third start of the campaign on Saturday.

“We know what Dario is capable of – we just need him to be doing it on a more regular basis.

“I think he will be the first to admit that,” Smith said.

“When he came on, that’s the Dario Zanatta I know and that I saw last season – he was strong, he took the ball, he got his goal and he worked hard.

“If he continues to do that, there’s a starting place for him there, but, like everyone else, he has got to work hard to be in that team.”

Zanatta replaced John Herron on the hour mark, with Lewis Vaughan moving into a central midfield role where he also made a key contribution by setting up both goals.

“Lewis is just a good player that can pick things up and knows where to get on the ball no matter where he plays,” Smith said.

“It was something we’d looked at previously, and we thought that Saturday was a good time for him to go in there and get on the ball.

“He’s sees that pass and he’s able to make it. On Saturday it was going to take something like that just the way that Queens played.

“John (Herron) didn’t have his best day but he’ll be the first to admit just needs to get back to doing the simple thing.”

Bobby Barr, Kevin McHattie and Kyle Benedictus remain sidelined but Iain Davidson is expected to be back in contention for a starting position after completing a full week of training.