Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn wants to finish season unbeaten

Grant Gillespie is pursued by Callum Crane and Euan Murray after scoring the winner against Airdrie at Stark's Park on Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Grant Gillespie is pursued by Callum Crane and Euan Murray after scoring the winner against Airdrie at Stark's Park on Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn has set his team a challenge to finish the season unbeaten.

With two home wins either side of two away draws, the promotion hopefuls are currently four games without a loss – their best run since going undefeated through the opening 10 league games.

With eight fixtures left, and the gap to league leaders Arbroath cut to 12 points, Raith’s main focus is on building momentum.

“We are the masters of our own downfall and that’s what we have to be careful of,” McGlynn said. “Yes, it’s four games, and we have to take confidence and belief, but if eight games from now we’re saying it’s 12 games unbeaten, then that will be a good run.

“That’s probably what we need and is what we’ll aim to achieve because we want to end the season on a high, in good form, gaining confidence, so that we’re prepared for the play-offs, or any eventuality, come five o’clock on May 4.

“That will take us playing well on Saturday, the Saturday after, and so forth, but if you look at what’s happened previously, it would suggest that might not be possible.

“But what’s done is done, we need to look forward and continue this run. Winning at home is good, but we want to be winning home and away and accumulating as many points as we can.”

Raith’s hopes of remaining unbeaten will be tested on Saturday by a Forfar side who sit third, one point behind in the League One standings.

“We have to go there with a selfish, ruthless and blinkered attitude that we are going there to make a statement, to prove a point, to be able to compete, battle and work,” McGlynn said. “We may need to go back up there in a play-off game, and we want to be setting a wee marker.

“There’s nothing between the teams in the head-to-heads this season, maybe we’re slightly ahead on goal difference. We want to continue our unbeaten run, and we want to do that with a win to build momentum, get confidence growing, and get three points further away from Forfar.

“Whatever happens between Arbroath and East Fife, we need to try and cash in on that as well.”

Outside Rangers and Celtic, Rovers are the top league scorers in Scotland, but they will travel to Station Park buoyed by a rare clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Airdrie on Saturday.

“We were a bit more solid,” McGlynn said. “The system we played was a bit more compact, so we probably weren’t as open. The game we played wasn’t necessarily as expansive as we have been.

“The work ethic was up there with what I’d be wanting to achieve more often, with good pressing, work-rate and organisation.

“The full squad played its part too with young Jamie Gullan coming on, chasingRai lost causes, and forcing errors from the opposition.

“He got a corner kick out of his sheer endeavour to make something happen. That’s the type of attitude I like, and what gets you clean sheets.

“I thought we still passed the ball fairly well, albeit I’ve seen us be slicker and move the ball quicker, but it was a good end product with regards the 1-0 victory.”

Grant Gillespie is nursing an injury from the Airdrie game but is not expected to miss the trip to Forfar, while Iain Davidson is receiving ongoing treatment for a back problem, but is also expected to play.