BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport
BOBBY Barr insists he is relishing life under manager Gary Locke – despite signing for Raith Rovers when Ray McKinnon was still in charge.
The winger penned a pre-contract agreement to join the Kirkcaldy outfit in the summer and was expecting to be reunited with his former boss from their spell together at Brechin City.
But McKinnon departed to take up the reins at Dundee United before the 28-year-old could complete his switch from Morton.
Locke phoned Barr within hours of being formally appointed to the Stark’s Park hotseat in May to reassure him he would be part of his plans.
And, after starting every competitive game so far this term, Barr is happy with his move to Fife.
He told Capital City Press: “It was one of those things when Ray left for Dundee United, but the manager phoned me before pre-season started and reassured me I would be part of his plans.
“I feel I’ve settled well. I get on with the rest of the boys, it’s a good bunch, and I’ve started every game so far.
“So, there are no issues with me. If I’m playing then I’m happy and I feel I’m doing okay.
“The manager likes to play with wingers, which helps. If it was a manager who didn’t like wingers that would have been different.
“But he’s brought in a few players who aren’t the biggest but are direct and like to get down the wings.
“So, I’m happy with the way the manager likes to play football and how it’s going so far.”
Barr was heavily involved as Raith kicked off the new Championship season with an opening-day victory over newly-promoted Ayr United last weekend.
The former St Johnstone and Livingston attacker crossed for Ross Callachan to open the scoring and then ran almost the length of Somerset Park to help set up Ross Matthews for the clinching goal in their 2-0 win.
He is desperate to back up that performance victory with another at home to St Mirren this afternoon (Saturday).
He added: “If you’re away from home and you keep a clean sheet and pick up three points then it’s the ideal start.
“But your home games are the most important and what you pick up away from home is a bonus.
“So, if you get the home form sorted it’s ideal and we’ll be looking to kick off with a good start against St Mirren.
“They’ve got a good squad with good players all over the park. They’re a threat, with a good front four.
“But we’ve got a good squad too, with good players and good competition for places, and we’ll be confident going into the game.”
Barr watched from afar as Rovers gave themselves a shot at promotion after clinching fourth place and a play-off berth last season.
They fell at the first hurdle after defeat to Hibs but the winger insists a top-four spot is firmly in their sights again.
He commented: “The club did brilliantly last season. What a run they went on, especially after Christmas, to finish fourth.
“I don’t know if they expected it but it was thoroughly deserved.
“The manager has kept the nucleus of that team and added some quality, so that will be the target again.”