BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Ray McKinnon has revealed Saturday’s late collapse against Dumbarton left him feeling as if there had been a ‘death in the family’.
But the Raith Rovers manager is convinced his side can prove there is still plenty of life left in their promotion hopes by moving back into a play-off place with a win over struggling St Mirren tonight.
The Kirkcaldy outfit were cruising towards a 3-0 victory away to Dumbarton at the weekend but lost an incredible three goals in the last 10 minutes to leave McKinnon ‘shellshocked’ at taking only a point from a match they had in the bag.
After such disappointments, an early chance at redemption is always wanted and Rovers host St Mirren in this evening’s rearranged fixture with the opportunity for just that.
And, folowing all his disappointment and confusion over the weekend, McKinnon is eager for the Stark’s Park outfit to ‘move on’ in the the most positive of fashions.
He said: “Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’m still flabbergasted by the way Saturday’s game ended. I never saw that coming, one bit.
“But it did come and it happened and we just need to look at it and rectify it.
“As much as I felt there was a death in the family on Saturday you have to be realistic about it, it’s going to happen.
“The roller-coaster of emotions has happened and we move on and focus on the next game.
“We’re gutted we lost three goals. It was a freak 10 minutes in the season and I’m pretty sure we won’t lose three goals in 10 minutes in the rest of the season.
“It happened and we’re gutted but we took a point and if we beat St Mirren we’re back into fourth.
“We’ll have a look at it, we’ll address it and make sure it never happens again. That’s the way to deal with it.
“It’s not a case of shouting and balling and letting your emotions run riot. It’s about saying ‘that’s what happened and that needs to stop the next time we play’. Remember it, learn from it and let’s move on.
“After the game I was more shellshocked than angry. It hurt.
“It honestly felt like there was a death in the family. I had to get my head around that on Saturday night and Sunday morning. It actually felt like a defeat.
“But I’ve got my head around it now.”
Before being appointed at Raith Rovers, McKinnon was amongst those interviewed for the St Mirren post when it was vacant over the summer.
After that process he is possibly in a better position than many to assess what has gone wrong for tonight’s opposition so far this season, with the Buddies going into the match with only goal difference separating them from the relegation play-off berth.
McKinnon added: “They’re a decent squad and they should be doing better than where they are, there’s no doubt about that.
“We need to capitalise on that at home. We need to get at them from the start and put them under pressure.
“There’s more pressure on them than us. We need to focus to try and win and get ourselves back into fourth – they’ve got to focus and win to get out of the relegation battle.
“It’ll be a tough game but we don’t fear them because we’ve got a good squad.”