BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Raith Rovers midfielder Scott Robertson saw first hand how difficult Dundee found it to cope following relegation from the Premier League and admits he is not surprised at St Mirren’s struggles so far this season.
Robertson was just a youngster at Dundee when the Dark Blues dropped out of the top-flight in an agonising last-day decider in 2005.
It took the Dens Park outfit another seven years to return to the top division, and even then it was because they were the beneficiaries of Rangers’ enforced demotion because of their financial collapse in 2012.
Although the Tayside outfit also suffered their own period of administration in that spell, that they spent six seasons in the second tier is lesson enough for Robertson to have expected St Mirren to encounter some difficulties following relegation.
In 2006, Dundee finished seventh in the old First Division, a full 33 points behind the champions that year – tonight’s opponents St Mirren – and the Buddies are currently seeking just a second win in 10 league matches.
Robertson, who last season also failed to bounce straight back up after relegation from the Premiership with Hibernian, commented: “I remember as a youngster, when I was just starting out, I came down with Dundee and we had a very similar start to the season to the one St Mirren are having just now.
“The expectation is to be pushing for promotion and it isn’t quite happening.
“So, I’ve been in that position myself and it is hard.
“Everybody’s coming up against St Mirren for the first time in a long time, and they’ve got a new team with a lot of new players.
“But I think the manager needs to be given time and I’m sure he’ll get it right.
“It’s the kind of league where a team could go on an unbelievable run of games, like we did at the start of the season and that got us into second place for a while.
“You never know with St Mirren, they could be going through their bad patch just now and find a good run of form.
“But I would like to think it will come after this game.”
Robertson netted his first goal for Raith in Saturday’s 3-3 draw away to Dumbarton but insists his personal milestone was no consolation for the way Rovers collapsed and lost their three-goal lead in a remarkable final 10 minutes.
The former Dundee United and Blackpool player admits the Fifers were ‘naive’ and played like ‘schoolboys’ in a nervy finale but is desperate for them to recover quickly from the bitter blow.
The Scotland cap added: “Being 3-0 up with 10 minutes to go there’s no way you should be dropping any points.
“But I’d like to think we’ll learn from it. We’ve got to realise that a game’s never won, even when you’re at that stage of the game and in that position.
“Your mentality has to be to keep going until the final whistle because we’ve thrown away two points.
“It absolutely is the angriest I’ve seen the manager, and rightly so.
“But it’s great we’ve got another game coming up so soon and we’re going into this game even more determined to get the three points.”