Raith boss seeks winning run

KIRKCALDY;'Starks Park ; Raith Rovers v Dumbarton ; GRANT MURRAY'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Starks Park ; Raith Rovers v Dumbarton ; GRANT MURRAY'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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RAITH Rovers boss Grant Murray has challenged his players to rediscover their early season form ahead of two important away fixtures.

Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Dumbarton came after just one win in the previous 10 league games - a run that dragged Rovers away from a top four position towards the drop zone.

With a derby against Cowdenbeath on Saturday followed by Dumbarton again on Tuesday night, more positive results are needed to establish some breathing space.

Murray told the Press: “We want to build on Saturday by getting the wins that propel us back up the league.

“We’re not asking the players to do anything they haven’t already done this season.

“We had some great results in the early part of the season, and it’s about remembering that and taking that feeling into games.

“There’s a lot of games coming up in next few weeks - a lot of Saturdays and Tuesdays - and we want to put a group of wins together.

“We’re well capable of doing it, although we know that every game is difficult because every team has something to play for.

“We’ll approach our next two games in a confident manner and look to take six points.”

Previous matches against Cowdenbeath have seen Raith fall two goals behind on three occasions, something Murray does not want repeated on Saturday.

He said: “We’re disappointed with the positions we’ve put ourselves in against Cowdenbeath this season, but we showed great spirit to get something out of both games.

“Scoring the first goal is a big thing in this league. It doesn’t guarantee you will win the game, but it gives you a big lift.

“We’ll go there in a positive manner and try to get ahead in the game.”

Murray has been encouraged by performances since he adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation, with striker Pat Clarke utilised in an advanced midfield role.

“We had a run of games where we looked an attacking threat, but lost goals, so we want to get the balance right,” he said.

“We’ve had a good shape in recent games and we’ve put Pat in an area where we feel it is benefiting him.

“We’ve got him coming from a deeper area, rather than standing in the box waiting on balls coming in, so he’s got to time his runs, like he did for his goal on Saturday.

“At the end of the day though, the formation is just a guide. It’s about 11 players out there wanting to win a game of football.”

Dougie Hill will miss the match against his former club Cowdenbeath due to suspension but he will be available for Dumbarton in midweek.

The upcoming trip to Falkirk, due to take place next Saturday, has been switched to Tuesday, March 5, due to the Bairns’ Scottish Cup involvement.

The recently postponed home match against Partick Thistle will take place a week later, on Tuesday, March 12.


Twitter: @mattelder_ffp