Raith captain Kyle Benedictus admitted that the players let down caretaker manager Kevin Cuthbert with their ‘embarrassing’ performance at Ross County on Saturday.
The Irn-Bru Cup tie was over by half-time as Rovers conceded five times during a horror 28-minute spell in their first match since the shock resignation of Barry Smith last Tuesday.
Cuthbert has picked up the reins on an interim basis and Benedictus heaped praise on the former goalkeeper for his handling of the situation.
“That first half was embarrassing, and we’ve let Cat down,” he told the Press. “Ever since I came to the club he’s been different class as a player and coach, and he’s been so professional these last few days since Barry left. I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“He didn’t deserve that, the club didn’t deserve it, and the fans that travelled didn’t deserve it.”
Benedictus revealed that Saturday’s rout was among the worst experiences of his career to date.
“We’ve been beaten 5-0 before, but that was the worst of the lot,” he said. “We put everything into preparing for the game, and to turn up like that, just 11 individuals, was embarrassing. From goalkeeper to front, all over the park, it was just not good enough.
“I never want to experience that again in football.”
Last week’s sudden departure of the manager was no excuse for the performance, Benedictus added.
“We’re professionals and managers come and go in the game,” he said. “We just have to get on with it, and training was good. Cat put on two very good sessions to prepare us for this game, and we came up with confidence.
“Don’t get me wrong Ross County are a good team, but I don’t think they are THAT good in terms of so far ahead of us. We just made it very easy for them in the first half.”
The skipper is looking for a positive response in Brechin on Saturday.
“If people think that was a reaction to Barry leaving then hopefully it’s out the system,” he said. “We don’t know why Barry left, and it was sad to see him go, but we can’t be too down about it because we’ve got a league to go for.
“We need to move on and get this club back to the Championship, where it deserves to be.”