Raith boss Hughes hopeful of adding to squad

Raith manager John Hughes promotes the club's away shirt sponsorship raffle. For full details visit www.raithrovers.net.
Raith manager John Hughes promotes the club's away shirt sponsorship raffle. For full details visit www.raithrovers.net.

John Hughes is hoping to make his first signing as Raith Rovers manager after the departure of two players.

Following the sudden retiral of Ryan Stevenson last week, defender David Syme has also been loaned to Cowdenbeath, where he has been reunited with newly appointed Gary Locke.

With two wages freed up, Hughes hopes to bring in a player or two to boost the squad in the battle against relegation from the Championship.

“We have to be realistic,” he said. “If we’re able to bring someone in, it will be an out of contract player, so we’ll have to get them up to speed.

“I’d like to bring in three or four – I think the squad needs it – but we could maybe try to work on getting one of the loan players to go back to his parent club.

“That frees up another loan deal, maybe in a different position, and you’re looking for somebody with good experience that can come in and play every week.

“The boys need that wee hand, and a fresh face could do them wonders. I’m not promising anything, but I’ll do what I can for the better of the club - that’s where the fans have to trust me.”

Rovers supporters are still reeling from the 4-0 thumping at Dumbarton on Saturday, which goes down as one of the team’s worst results and performances in recent times, and Hughes admits that players must change their mindsets if they are to keep the club in the division.

“Take nothing from Dumbarton, they deserved to win, but I felt we played a massive part in beating ourselves,” he said. “The goals we lost, and the timing of them, were poor and everyone has to hold their hand up to it, including myself.

“You ask, were we motivated properly, but what we gave against St Mirren last Wednesday in terms of effort, spirit and organisation – that should be a given. If you’re having to ask players for that then we’ve got a problem.

“From the performance against St Mirren, where there was a real togetherness, to the performance against Dumbarton, the contrast is night and day.

“My frustration at this moment is that I don’t know what I’m getting on a Saturday.”

Hughes has stressed that players must not only pick up their game on matchdays, but in training too.

“I’ve been at clubs where the training is so intense, you’re applauding,” he said.

“That’s when you know you’re halfway there, but right at this moment we’re far from that - and some of them need to know how to train properly.

“Others are showing up well, like wee Scott Roberts. I told him after training that we’re recognising the work he’s putting in and the way he is training, he’ll get himself in the team.

“You have to reward it. If anybody thinks they turn up, train, and go home, they won’t be at this club very long.

“If a guy cheats you on 10 press ups on the training pitch, he’ll cheat you in the game.”

Rovers host a struggling Dundee United side at Stark’s Park on Saturday. “We’ve got eight cup finals left,” Hughes added.