We must repay the fans who suffered at Ibrox

Grant Anderson looks for a way past Ian Black at Ibrox on Saturday
Grant Anderson looks for a way past Ian Black at Ibrox on Saturday

Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray hopes to repay the supporters who suffered at Ibrox with three points against Alloa on Saturday.

Murray stated he sympathised with fans who sat through the 6-1 hammering against Rangers – the club’s worst league defeat in 11 years.

And the Stark’s Park boss believes the best way to rectify that is by giving the home crowd a performance to be proud of this weekend.

“I feel for the fans who went through on Saturday,” Murray told the Press.

“For some, it would have been their first trip to Ibrox and they would’ve been looking forward to the game, only to come away feeling let down and short-changed.

“We respect the fans that come and watch us and we want them to get behind us – but it works both ways.

“We want to make this place a difficult place for teams to come and we’ve got to perform on the pitch to get that.

“When we have done that, the fans have been right behind us.”

Murray felt his players deserved criticism for their Ibrox performance but he now wants a positive reaction against an Alloa side who currently sit bottom of the Championship.

“It’s important that we regroup,” he said.

“We had to criticise the players – we did that after the game – but now we need to pick them up for Saturday.

“To go anywhere and lose six goals is hurtful for myself, the players, and everyone, but we’ve got to turn that around.

“It’s up to us as staff and players to work hard during the week to rectify things and get it right for Saturday.

“The way the league is, we’re still sitting in a decent position and, if we get three points on Saturday, that will give us a bit of confidence back as well as another home win under our belts.”

Rovers are now without a win in four games and Murray insists he will not shy away from making changes to the side if he feels it’s required.

“Every player knows they’ve got to work hard to get themselves in the team, and stay in the team,” he said.

“We had a bit of consistency in previous games but now we’ve lost 10 goals in the last two games and the bottom line is that’s not good enough.

“I’ve got to weigh everything up, look at the squad of players I’ve got available to me, and do what I feel is right for winning the next game.”

Working against Murray is the current injury situation at Stark’s Park with up to six players possibly unavailable for the Alloa match.

Christian Nade, Calum Elliot, Kevin Cuthbert and Craig Barr will not feature while defenders Laurie Ellis and Dougie Hill are both rated doubtful.

On the flipside, loan player Barrie McKay will return to the squad after being ineligible against his parent club Rangers last week, while Ross Perry is also back in contention after making a late substitute appearance at Ibrox.

“We’re missing some big players at the moment,” Murray stressed. “Every club has to get by with injuries and suspensions and we’re no different.

“We’ve already gone to places and done well in spite of these injuries, but we want them back as quick as we can.”

Murray is delighted, however, that the injured players are now in the care of new club physio, Karen Gibson.

Karen joins Rovers following an eight-year spell at Dundee where she worked in the same role under five different managers.

“The players are now getting the best rehab they can get,” Murray said.

Eric Drysdale, Raith chief executive, is also delighted to have acquired a physio with an vast array of experience.

“This is a major step forward for the club,” he explained. “Appointing someone of Karen’s calibre has already had a very positive effect on the players, particularly those requiring rehabilitation following surgery and significant injury, and it is hoped this will accelerate their return to action.

“Karen’s extensive medical contacts have allowed us to ensure that long term casualties Kevin Cuthbert, Craig Barr and Dougie Hill were operated on by the best surgeons while more recently injured players Ross Perry, Calum Elliot and Christian Nade are also receiving intensive rehab.

“To have six players – effectively the spine of the team - sidelined by injury so early in the season, with others playing through the pain barrier, is really unfortunate but we just have to get on with it.

“By bringing in such an experienced and respected full time physio, that’s what we are doing and here’s hoping that the team will soon return to full strength and winning ways.”