Self-belief will help carry us against Arbroath

Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith (picture by Fife Photo Agency).
Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith (picture by Fife Photo Agency).

Confidence among the Raith Rovers squad and the satisfaction of collecting nine points from nine last week will spur them on when they visit Arbroath on Saturday.

Manager Barry Smith said the players had come in “lively and full of confidence” after the hard-earned victory over Albion Rovers.

Dick Campbell’s side lost 3-2 at Alloa last week, but Smith knows they are very dangerous opposition.

“Arbroath have done excellent this year to get to where they are, and they pose a lot of threat,” he said. “But we have the belief in the dressing room and we’re going into every game with confidence.”

Rovers were accompanied by a great travelling support when they last visited Gayfield at Christmas, and the club hoped for the same again, if possible.

“They got behind the boys in very difficult conditions and we got the victory,” said Smith.

The approach was to take it a game at a time as the final stages of the season beckoned

“We’re only interested in the Arbroath game – that’s where the focus has got to remain until we get the three points in.”

The team came through injury-free from Saturday’s demanding game with Albion Rovers and Smith said the most pleasing aspect of the 2-0 victory was that Raith had kept going.

They knew an early goal would settle things down but, when that didn’t happen, they knew they’d have to be patient, he said.

Things went a lot better in the second half and Raith deserved their win, added Smith, with Albion never really a major threat in the second 45.

He said: “We have been at home before and we’ve had to dig out results and this was another day like that.

“We scored two goals near the death but that’s all down to the boys’ fitness and willingness to get forward and win the game.

“The first-half chances Albion had in the first half were mistakes by ourselves.

“We created a few chances, but there is a confidence in the dressing room that we will go and win games, however long it takes.

“The patient side ended up being the winner.”

Two Raith substitutes interacted to provide the decisive goal in the final minute.

“It’s a very strong bench,” said Smith.

“We are fortunate that we have guys like Liam Buchanan, John Herron, Dario Zanatta, Kevin McHattie – and we are fortunate enough that we can use these guys and know what we are getting off them.

“Two of the three substutes (Zanatta and Willis Furtado) made a difference in terms of them being involved in the goals.

“It worked on the day but I think the strength of the bench just shows where we are.”