Raith need to be quicker on the ball says boss Smith

Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith  (pic by Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith (pic by Fife Photo Agency)

Raith Rovers boss Barry Smith says his side need to up the tempo during a game.

The Stark’s Park boss was disappointed with the 2-2 derby draw with East Fife on Saturday, saying his team lacked urgency during the 90 minutes.

Speaking to the Press he said: “We reviewed the video and we just didn’t do things quickly enough. Whether it was moving the ball quick enough or pressing quick enough.

“We’ve highlighted that so we’ll be looking for a big improvement come Saturday.

“We want to be creating more chances, we’ve spoken to the boys about that. A lot of that is about communication and players being in the right areas to affect the game.

“If there’s no communication then we don’t break up play higher up the park which would allow us to be more on the front foot.”

Despite failing to win the match Smith said there were a few positives he could take.

“They kept going when we went behind and got a point.

“I thought for maybe about five minutes we’ve passed the ball well, but five minutes isn’t enough.

“When it comes down to it, we should still be expecting to win our home games.

“We’ve got a tremendous home record but we want to be winning our homes games, not drawing.”

With the installation of the new artificial surface at Stark’s Park, the team has now switched training back to their home ground from the Michael Woods Centre in Glenrothes and Smith says he hopes that in time it will pay dividends for the club, both on and off the park.

“It’s fine being back here and working on the pitch,” Smith said.

“Hopefully the sprinkler system will get working soon. That makes it a big quicker for us and that’s the way we want to play.

“The important thing is we’re back at Stark’s Park and once it opens up to the community there will be a better community feel for everyone involved with the club. I think that’s important.

“Obviously we’re just back and we’ve not totally kicked in yet but in the long term hopefully the pitch will help to provide funds for the club, renting it out and getting different teams playing here.”

Smith now takes his side to play Airdrie at the Excelsior Stadium on Saturday and says it will be a difficult match.

“Airdrie have recruited a lot of experience from this division,” he said.

“They’ve got a lot of players in so it’ll be a tough test for us.

“But we’ve got to go there and play with confidence and take responsibility on the ball. When we have moved it quickly on Saturday past we caused problems, but we didn’t do it enough.

“Prior to Saturday’s game we’ve had to great results against Stenhousemuir and Aberdeen Colts, so there’s no problem with the team’s confidence, but when we’ve got the ball it’s about taking responsibility to make that pass when you have the chance.

“We need to be better all over the park.”