Gary Locke insists “hurting” Raith Rovers are not suddenly a bad team after three successive defeats



GARY LOCKE admits his Raith Rovers side are “hurting” following three defeats on the bounce – but is adamant they have not become a bad team overnight.

The Stark’s Park outfit enjoyed a blistering start to the Championship campaign under their new boss, navigating their first four league games of the season unbeaten, including a memorable Fife derby triumph over Dunfermline.

However, they have since endured a Irn-Bru Cup defeat against League 2 Forfar Athletic followed by reverses against Falkirk and Queen of the South.

garylockeRovers remain in third spot but Locke is keen to see a response from his players when Dumbarton visit Kirkcaldy this weekend.

He said: “We’ve had a couple of bad results but you don’t suddenly become a bad team. We need to get back to moving the ball quicker, working harder and, if we do that, then we’ll pick up again.

“We are all disappointed because you don’t want to lose games, that is something we want to install here – that the boys are hurting after losing, and they are. They are a great bunch here and it is not as if any player goes out not to do their job.

“It is a couple of defeats, which we are not happy about at all, but we are still in a healthy position in the league.

“I didn’t get too carried away when we started the season well and I’m not going to get too disappointed by a couple of defeats, but we certainly need to do better against Dumbarton.”

A towering header by Jean-Yves M’voto provided late solace for the Fifers as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against shock Championship leaders Queen of the South on Saturday.

And Locke is keen to see the former Paris Saint-Germain defender use his physicality to get on the scoresheet on a regular basis this term.

He added: “I think you’ve got to look at [Jean] as a goal threat this season.

“Our set-pieces were disappointing on Saturday, we kept hitting the first man, and when we put one good ball into the box we scored from it, so we want to brush up on that.”