Raith Rovers defender Dave McKay looking to retain first team place

Raith defender Dave McKay - credit- Fife Photo Agency
Raith defender Dave McKay - credit- Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers defender Dave McKay hopes he has proved himself to manager John McGlynn after his return to the team coincided with a much-needed clean sheet.

The 1-0 win at home to Airdrie was only Rovers’ fifth shut-out in the league, and the third to feature the 20-year-old at centre-half.

The youngster has had to wait for his chance under McGlynn with his last start coming under caretaker boss Kevin Cuthbert in the 5-0 defeat to Ross County in the Challenge Cup back in September.

But after returning to the line-up for the 2-2 draw at Stranraer last week, and retaining his place against Airdrie, he is hoping to nail down a first team place for the remainder of the season.

“Being back in the team it was important to get that clean sheet,” McKay said.

“I definitely feel like I’ve taken my chance now, and hopefully I’ll get a good run in the team. I kept my place from last week, which was good considering Stranraer wasn’t the easiest place to go. It was good to get back home in front of the fans and get three points with a clean sheet.”

McKay (inset) has managed 28 starts for Raith, plus a further eight sub appearances, since his release from Hibs three years ago.

“I was at Hibs until U17s then at the cut off to U20s I unfortunately didn’t get a contract,” he said.

“Laurie Ellis brought me here and I was training for a bit then eventually signed when Sean Mackie went to Hibs - I basically took his contract.

“I did my apprenticeship here, and this is my second season with the first team.

“Coming here for first team football is what I needed to make myself better.

“There are good boys here who talk me through games, and I just need to build on that.”

McKay has had to make do with reserve football for the majority of the season but feels he is already equipped to cope with the demands of League One.

“I was playing at the start of the season, then the new gaffer came in and I just had to be patient and wait my time,” he said.

“I played around 20 games last season which was good experience, especially being a centre-half, because it’s quite rare to get first team football at my age.

“That plan is to give the gaffer a decision to make and I helped myself by getting a clean sheet on Saturday.”

McKay admits he relies heavily on the veterans in the squad for guidance.

“You’ve got the older boys like Liam Buchanan, Nat, Davo, Bene, Muzza, Robbie – all those boys help you through it,” he said. “Nat’s in front of me talking me through the game, and I’ve got Davo beside me, so it’s quite easy slotting in.

“I just need to keep improving and working hard in training, then I can hopefully get a good run in the team, keep winning games, getting clean sheets, and maybe get a goal.

“I’ve scored a few with the reserves, so hopefully I’ll get my first pro goal soon.”