We’ll recover from Ayr raid, says Raith Rovers boss McGlynn

Raith will play Queen of the South away this weekend. (Pic: Dave Johnston)Raith will play Queen of the South away this weekend. (Pic: Dave Johnston)
Raith will play Queen of the South away this weekend. (Pic: Dave Johnston)
Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn says his side need to bounce back quickly from last Saturday’s calamitous display against Ayr United.

The 4-0 home drubbing was one which the Stark’s Park boss said took him by surprise and insists it was completely out of character.

“It was very unlike us to lose four goals like that,” he said, “we've been defending much better than that.

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“Last week against Partick we had a clean sheet and down at Kilmarnock in midweek it was a penalty kick that we lost the goal from.

“So it was very much unexpected, but if we win as a team, we lose as a team. I certainly won't blame a certain section of the team.

“We went into the game feeling very confident after the win down at Kilmarnock. We were looking to kick on.

“But they looked sharper than we did and were very clinical with their finishing whereas the opportunities we got more or less always got blocked.

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“Matej [Poplatnik] and Ben [Williamson] both had good chances in the first half, Ross Matthews has a shot but it gets blocked.

“On the day we weren't clinical and they defended better.

“Earlier in the season the chances we created were going in, now they're not, but we're not a million miles away.

“That said, losing four goals? I didn't see that coming. We hold our hands up, we need to do better.

“We all have to take responsibility, myself included, so now we need to bounce back.

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“We're very much still in the running [for a play-off spot]. Realistically, we're maybe now not able to get in the top two or three, but fourth place is certainly up for grabs and that's exactly what we aim to do.

“Things can change very quickly. We go on a 15-game unbeaten run, we never think we're going to go 11 games without a win.

“But it only takes one game to kick things on and we aim to do that on Saturday.”

McGlynn says it was a possibility that the intensity of the previous two games may have taken its toll on the team, leaving them looking "heavy legged", but says he won’t be using that as a mitigating factor for such a disappointing performance.

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“It certainly looked like that, but I don't want to make excuses,” he said.

“Ayr did look a little bit sharper than us, but we've been in these situations before this season where we had to play a lot of games and it didn't affect us.

“Back in September we played four games in a very short period of time and we came through that.

"Because we've lost a game we shouldn't make excuses like that. But for me, they were sharp, we just weren't.”

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A slightly worrying outcome of the match is that the gap between fifth place Raith and Ayr in sixth is now down to just seven points, a situation which was unimaginable earlier in the season with the difference between the top and bottom halves of the Championship table seemingly insurmountable.

McGlynn said: “We had about a 15 point gap on the teams below us at one stage.

"I knew the bottom half would start picking up points but obviously I didn't want it to be on ourselves.

"So it's up to us to deal with it and we'll start this weekend.

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"We just have to look after ourselves. I don't think we're that far away, albeit Saturday was a bad performance.”

Saturday will see Raith travel to play Queen of the South in what is a dress rehearsal for next month’s SPFL Trust Trophy Final.

The Dumfries side are currently second bottom of the table and McGlynn says having won their last away match against Kilmarnock they’ll be looking for a repeat performance.

"That's the attitude we've got to go with.

"We won down there at the end of last season and we played really well, we drew there earlier this season.

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“We will have respect for them as our opposition as we always do and we'll be ready for it.

“It's a big game as they all will be in these last eight games.

“Queens have jumped above Dunfermline in the table but if we can beat them then we make the gap between us and them even larger.

“They played midweek against Partick Thistle, might be a bit tired, so we need to take advantage of that at the weekend.”

He added: “It's up to us to go and do that.”