REACTION: MCGLYNN OPTIMISTIC DESPITE ARBROATH SLIP-UP
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn looked to focus on the positives from his side’s 2-2 draw with Arbroath in his post-match press conference. Cameron Wanstall reports.
Raith Rovers dropped two crucial points in their Scottish Championship clash against relegation-threatened Arbroath on Saturday afternoon at Stark’s Park.
A Dan Armstrong brace gave the hosts a two goal cushion, but strikes from Jack Hamilton and Ricky Little snatched two points away from the Kirkcaldy outfit.
The draw was enough to keep Raith in second place, just ahead of Dundee (on goal difference), as well as Dunfermline, Inverness and Queen of the South – who are all within six points of the Rovers.
Second Half Blues
Raith manager John McGlynn bemoaned his side’s substandard performance in the second half of Saturday’s clash.
“We didn’t play the second half at all. We didn’t start the second half. We let them come into it a little bit, put us under pressure and we didn’t really deal with it as well as I thought we would have dealt with it. And from being totally dominant, we lost the control in the game.
“Ten minutes to go, they equalise. At that point in time, we’ve totally lost any control of the game whatsoever – all over the place. So at that point if you can’t win it, don’t lose it.”
Despite showing his frustration over the manner of his side’s collapse, McGlynn still hopes this will be a lesson for his young side.
“We dropped our standards for the first half, took too many touches, didn’t make the right passes and the game turned. Hopefully they’ll learn from that. You’ve got to learn what has brought you success, what has brought you good results and you’ve got to continue to do that.”
Four. More. Games.
With three tricky fixtures on the road before welcoming Hearts to Stark’s Park on the final day, McGlynn is aware that securing a play-off spot is entirely up to his side.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got another point. It’s disappointing to have only got a point from a two-goal lead in a game that, for 45 minutes, we had been excellent in. When you look at other results across the table then it’s a game away; no damage done.
“I think there will be a lot of twists and turns in the remaining games. We’ve got four to go – others have three. We are down to Palmerston on Tuesday night, we’ve got a difficult game there, but another opportunity.
“We’re now 11 points clear of the second, and third-bottom, teams, so now we’ve got to fight to keep up there. We’ve been in the top four all season and we don’t want to drop out it now. It’s very much in our own hands.”
Following last Saturday’s Scottish Cup defeat to Livingston, McGlynn had stated that fatigue had become an issue within the squad. However, despite the late collapse to Arbroath, the Raith boss was certain that his squad are rejuvenated for the run-in.
“It was only because of the amount of Tuesday night games we had played. We do have another Tuesday night game, but we’ve just had a break there… Fortunately, I don’t think going forward that fatigue will be any problem.”
Heart of Midlothian: League Champions
Draws for both Dundee and Raith meant Hearts were crowned league champions. McGlynn, a former Hearts coach and manager, was in a complimentary mood when discussing his former club’s achievement.
“Congratulations to Hearts and congratulations to Robbie (Neilson) – coming under a little bit of stick recently – he’s delivered what he’s set out to do by the 10th of April, so congratulations to him and Hearts, his players and everyone connected to there. There’s no doubt they’ve been the best team throughout the season. The table shows you that, it never lies.”