BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
DECLAN McManus has revealed he turned down a fourth loan move to Morton because he felt he needed the ‘fresh challenge’ of a switch to Raith Rovers instead.
The 21-year-old has joined the Fifers on a season-loan loan from Fleetwood Town after admitting ‘it’s not happening’ for him at the English League One club he joined last year.
It is understood Morton were convinced earlier this week that they had again secured the services of the former Aberdeen player, who netted five times in 17 appearances for the Cappielow men last term.
However, Rovers boss Gary Locke signed the marksman from under their noses on Thursday after the Scotland under-21 cap decided he needed to try something new.
McManus said: “I spoke to the manager and I liked everything he had to say. It’s a big club and they achieved the play-offs last season, and hopefully we’ll be looking to do that at least this season.
“I’ve played in this division with Morton and I enjoyed it last season. I had a good six months and I did well, but it’s a tough league, no matter whether you’re playing against a team from the top or the bottom.
“The option was there to go back to Morton but I just felt myself, and speaking to my family and my agent, that a new challenge was the better option for me.
“The gaffer here spoke to me and told me how keen he was to get me up here and basically sold the club to me.”
McManus joined Fleetwood last summer after leaving Aberdeen and made an instant impact, scoring on his competitive debut for the Cod Army in August.
However, after another nine goalless outings, he joined Morton loan in January and was happy to be farmed out again for the coming campaign.
Set to make his debut in Saturday’s Betfred Cup tie against Ross County, McManus added: “I was looking to go out on loan again this season. It’s not happening for me at Fleetwood. That’s fair enough, you get that in football, where sometimes you don’t fit.
“But the gaffer and (assistant) Darren (Jackson) have put faith in me here and hopefully I can prove they’ve got a good signing.
“I always try to do my best to convince anybody that’s judging me, but it’s not happening at Fleetwood. That’s the gaffer’s choice down there and you can’t argue with it.
“These things happen in football, every player goes through it at some stage and I’m just looking to come here and prove whatever doubters I’ve got wrong and do well.
“The best way for me to do that is to score goals for Raith. Every striker’s aim for the season is to get as many goals as they possibly can.
“That’s what I’m setting out to do and hopefully I can score enough to help fire us into the play-offs.”