Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn keen to build momentum ahead of Arbroath showdown

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn. Pic: George McLuskie
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn. Pic: George McLuskie

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn has called on his players to build momentum ahead of a crucial meeting with Arbroath at Christmas.

Rovers face two important matches ahead of the December 22 showdown at Gayfield with a trip to Montrose this Saturday followed by a home match against Dumbarton next week.

The Kirkcaldy men currently trail the runaway leaders by 10 points, and McGlynn wants to go into the head-to-head on the back of a winning run.

“We’re only focusing on winning games,” McGlynn told the Press. “The only time we can control what Arbroath do is when we play them.

“It’s not normal what they are doing in this particular league. Can they continue that? Only time will tell.

“But it’s a challenge to everyone in the league to try to not make this a one-horse race.

“It’s up to everyone, ourselves included, and we’ll get an opportunity on December 22 to do something about that, but we have two difficult games before where we need to pick up the points. If we can do that then that could be a real classic game to look forward to.”

With three victories on the bounce, and back-to-back clean sheets, McGlynn is hoping his players are finding the consistency required to mount a challenge to Arbroath.

“Momentum is massive,” he said. “There’s things we’re doing for the first time this season which is very pleasing.

“The only way to continue to get clean sheets and wins is by everyone functioning as a team and making sure we don’t switch off. We’re happy but certainly not getting carried away because every game in this league is very difficult.

“We go to Montrose on Saturday who have just gone to East Fife and won 2-0, which is an excellent result and tells you we’re going to have to be at our best.”

While top scorer Kevin Nisbet is grabbing the headlines, McGlynn praised the form of Liam Buchanan and Ross Matthews, who came into the team following injuries to Lewis Vaughan and Regan Hendry.

“I’m very pleased with these two lads in particular,” McGlynn said. “When Lewis and Regan both got injured we felt we needed to change formation and that gave Liam a better chance to get in the team.

“It could have been very easy to go in the huff when he wasn’t playing, but he never did that, he just worked all the harder.

“He’s got three goals in his last four games which is great for a striker, but his work rate is a great example to all the younger players in the team.

“The energy and desire is very much there for everyone to see. With Chris Duggan back, and Lewis Vaughan on the way back, there’s going to be some great competition and that’s exactly what I’m looking for as a manager.”

On Matthews, McGlynn added: “He’s just got better and better.

“He’s progressing every week and I thought his performances in the last two games, and particularly on Saturday, have been first class.

“Now he’s playing with a lot of confidence, biting into tackles, passing the ball well, winning second balls and has great legs to get about the pitch.”

Callum Crane is continuing to receive treatment on a knee injury at his parent club Livingston, and is touch and go for the weekend.