Raith Rovers on the road

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn says his side should be confident of recording a second away win in a row.
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn (Fife Photo Agency)Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn (Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn (Fife Photo Agency)

The Stark’s Park side head north to take on Forfar in this Saturday’s League One encounter, having beaten Stranraer 2-1 last weekend.

When the sides last met in Kirkcaldy in September, Rovers won 4-0, which proved to be formr boss Barry Smith’s last match before his resignation.

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McGlynn said Forfar will make it tough for his side but says they can go there hopeful of a good result.

Kevin Nisbet scores his second goal against Stranraer last weekend (Fife Photo Agency)Kevin Nisbet scores his second goal against Stranraer last weekend (Fife Photo Agency)
Kevin Nisbet scores his second goal against Stranraer last weekend (Fife Photo Agency)

“Forfar won their last game beating Stenhousemuir (by two goals to one) so that’ll help their confidence,” McGlynn said.

“But we’ve got to look after ourselves.

“In Barry’s last game before I came here, he got a good result against Forfar, so the players know they can beat them.

“That was at home but we know we need to go away from here and win games, and that will be our aim.

“We’re playing well and showing some good football.

“If we continue that on Saturday, then Forfar will have to do well to stop us.”

McGlynn praised his players for their adaptability and strength of character during last Saturday’s match.

The Stark’s Park boss was forced to make a number of tactical changes after the sending off of Euan Murray in the first half, and says he was delighted in the way his players responded.

McGlynn, who says he has no complaints over the sending off, said they took they decision to protect the 2-1 lead, courtesy of a double from Kevin Nisbet, and defend in the second half.

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“The aim was to win the football match so we decided to let Stranraer have the ball,” he said.

“We had actually practised during the week playing eight men against 11, so that helped us on Saturday when we played over 50 minutes with 10 men.

“There were a couple of scares. Robbie had a save to make and Davo cleared one off the line, but I’ve got to give the players a lot of credit for the way they went about it.

“Their attitude was first class. Their desire to defend our goal and the box was excellent.

“They had to have a strong mentality and not crumble. They stuck together and these qualities will stand us in good stead.

“It gives us confidence to know we can go and play like that when there’s a fair amount of tactical discipline in it as well.”

The Rovers management team’s game plan went out the window with the sending off and McGlynn said: “It takes a lot of organisation from the players’ point of view.

“We were playing a 4-3-3 first half, then when Euan was sent off for the rest of the first half, we went three at the back with a five in midfield and one up front.

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“However, within a minute of the second half, they put in a deep cross to where our right back would have been.

“We had young Ryan Stevenson in there, who’s not the tallest in that position, so we had to make a change there as well.

“We brought on Jamie Watson, who’s another young lad, but he’s one who’s more used to being in that area. And he’s taller too, so it was better for us to have him in there.

“So that was another change and what was really good was the players adapted to that too.

“Stranraer actually played very well on the day. If they play like that against the other teams round about us, they’ll cause them problems.

“They look like they’ve improved a lot from the start of the season, but, overall, we dealt with it very well.”

McGlynn praised the impact that two of his loan signings have made since joining the club.

“They’ve been great,” he said. “Regan Hendry has been fantastic. His quality on the ball is there for everyone to see. He makes some good, penetrating passes, he can open up defences, and the players are thriving from that.

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“Callum Crane has been very good at left back. He’s brought in some stability along with Davidson, Benedictus and Murray.

“I think they’ve formed a really good back four, which is pleasing.

“I think there’s more to come from Callum but he’s settled in really well and, hopefully, he will continue to improve.

“From his point of view, he was playing first team football for Livingston occasionally, but not a lot. It’ll take him a few games to get up to speed but that’s where we are.”

McGlynn also said his players were looking forward to a trip to Hampden after being drawn to play Queen’s Park in the third round of the Scottish Cup, a tie which will be played on Saturday, November 24.

He said: “There are worse places we could have gone to!

“At least we’ll have good facilities and a good surface to play on.

“The players will enjoy going there and playing, even though the place will be virtually empty. It’s a big plus for us.

“The Scottish Cup for me has always been a way of making money. If you get a good run you can make big money which can get put back into the club to make it better.

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“That’s the aim when it comes to cup ties for me but the Scttish Cup brings that bit of excitement as well and a bit of a break from league business.

“Our priority is to get out of this league and into the Championship but a cup run could help that.

“It’s a long season, there’s a long way to go so we need to look after ourselves.

“If we keep winning football matches everything else will take care of itself.”