We need to move on, insists Raith caretaker Cuthbert

Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife -  KEVIN CUTHBERT -  credit- Fife Photo Agency
Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - KEVIN CUTHBERT - credit- Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers caretaker manager Kevin Cuthbert insists the team must quickly move on following the sudden departure of Barry Smith this week.

Cuthbert will take temporary charge of the team for the trip to Ross County on Saturday after Smith handed in his resignation on Tuesday.

The former goalkeeper admitted that he was sad to see Smith go, but in an interview with Raith TV, he stressed that all focus is on preparing the side for the Challenge Cup tie.

“As much as it’s disappointing, you have to move on,” Cuthbert said.

“I had a really good working relationship with the manager. We were a good team, and I still believe that, but he felt that was the decision for him to make.

“There was disappointment, but also recognition that we have to focus on Saturday.

“As soon as I was informed of the next progression for me, my main focus became Ross County and preparing the players for training.

“You can’t allow emotion to come into things, you quickly move on and refocus. That’s part of being a footballer.

“The players came in this morning, I spoke to them at length, took them out training, demanded 100 per cent just like they’ve given in the last couple of games, and we got it.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the players effort, application and professionalism, and their ability to move on has been outstanding.”

Smith’s resignation leaves Cuthbert as the only coach at the club, following the summer departures of Craig Easton and Scott Robertson.

“There’s lot to do, but that’s fine,” he said.

“You take the responsibilty, put it on your back and run with it, or you shrink and fall apart. That’s not going to be me.

“You’re either the type of person that will accept a challenge and want to progress yourself, or you’re not, and I feel like I am.

“I can take anything that comes. My main focus is that the players are ready and have everything they need for Saturday.”

Cuthbert refused to be drawn on whether he would be applying for the manager’s position, adding: “My only short term view at the minute is preparing the players for Saturday.

“Saturday is not about me, it’s about the players going on the field and showing how good a team they are, individually and collectively.

“All I want is for them to do themselves justice, and show how we’re progressing from our wins over Forfar and Airdrie.

“It will be a different game on Saturday, but one I feel we’re equipped for and if we’re at our maximum we can give Ross County a tough game.”