Raith Rovers part with John Hughes after relegation

Raith Rovers have departed with manager John Hughes. Pic: SNS/Alan Rennie
Raith Rovers have departed with manager John Hughes. Pic: SNS/Alan Rennie
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Raith Rovers have parted company with John Hughes after the club were relegated from the Championship.

Hughes’ exit, along with assistant Kevin McBride, was confirmed in a brief statement on the club’s official website.

The Rovers lost on penalties to Brechin City, confirming their demotion. The first-leg of the play-off finished 1-1 at Glebe Park but Raith could only draw 2-2 over 90 minutes at Stark’s Park before both sides scored in extra-time. Scott Robertson’s hapless penalty, coupled with Andy Jackson’s conversion confirmed the Fife outfit would be playing in the third tier for the first time since 2009

The 52-year-old took over the Kirkcaldy side in February after the departure of Gary Locke. The club hadn’t won since the end of October and were languishing in eighth after a promising start under Locke, but had an 11 point lead over bottom side St Mirren, as well as a four point gap to second-bottom Ayr United.

However, Hughes was unable to turn around the fortunes of the Rovers as they saw a resurgent St Mirren over take them. They were consigned to the play-off position on the final day of the season on goal difference as they finshed level on points with Dumbarton and the Buddies.

It has been a chastening experience for Hughes, who guided Inverness Caledonian Thistle to a third-place finish in the Premiership and Scottish Cup success in 2015, winning only four of his 15 matches in charge. He railed against his players, questioning both their attitude and talent throughout his spell in Fife.