Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn wants more aggression in final third

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn.
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn.

There were mixed emotions for Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn after Tuesday’s draw in Dumbarton.

While pleased to escape with a point after Kevin Nisbet’s injury-time equaliser, the manager was frustrated at the manner in which goals were conceded, as well as the lack of aggression in the final third.

“We got the lead then they caught us with two really good strikes,” he said.

“However, in the first situation we had the ball under control, but Callum Crane drove forward and lost possession.

“At 1-1 it was anyone’s game, but then we had another situation where we should never have lost the ball. We thought it was out, we left it, and allowed Dom Thomas to go along the byline to cut it back for another great strike.

“From a comfortable position we found ourselves 2-1 down.

“We had the majority of the second half – it was huffing and puffing. Dumbarton had a couple of sniffs on the counter attack but fair play to our guys they kept going right until the very end.

“We got a point out of it whereas, in recent weeks, we wouldn’t have got that.

“We’ve got to be grateful because it could be a very important point for us.

“Wewent to win the game, but the way it turned out, it was probably a very valuable and well-earned point.”

As Rovers pressed for an equaliser in the second half, McGlynn admitted he was agitated by the number of corner kicks and crosses they failed to take advantage of.

“For the amount of possession and corner kicks, it was frustrating that we couldn’t get anyone on the end of them,” he said.

“You’ve got to put your head and body in to try and get that ball over the line. It’s critical at this stage of season where every goal, and every point is a prisoner.

“You’ve really got to bust a gut, put your head on the ball, anything to get it over the line.

“You can sometimes have a poor delivery where it hits the first defender and be frustrated by that, but we actually put some good deliveries in from set plays. They defended them well, but we’ve got to be more aggressive.

“One of them went to the back area and their guy side-footed it. It went all the way there, and nobody put their head on it. For me, that’s criminal.”

The result moved Raith a point clear of Forfar in second place, but they remain 16 points behind leaders Arbroath, who were also held to a draw at East Fife.

Nat Wedderburn is a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Stranraer after succumbing to hamstring strain in the early stages of the midweek match.

Kyle Benedictus, Chris Duggan and Lewis Vaughan are all sidelined, however, Raith have boosted the squad with the arrival of striker Jamie Gullan on loan from Hibernian.

The 19-year-old, who has made two substitute appearances this term, spent previous loan stints at Gala Fairydean Rovers and Queen’s Park.

Gullan, a key member of the Hibs squad that won the Development League and SFA Youth Cup last season, said: “I’m grateful to both Hibs and Raith Rovers for agreeing the loan move and I’m looking forward to getting started.

"I will be working as hard as I can to hopefully win a place in the first team and take it from there.”

McGlynn added: “Jamie has been playing and scoring regularly for Hibs reserves this season, and this loan move will see Raith Rovers and Jamie benefit from what he will bring to the squad.

"Jamie’s movement and finishing will bring a different element to the squad – he will add a freshness and edge to our forward line.”