Hearts & Kilmarnock experiences give Gary Locke tools to pull Raith Rovers through slump, insists Kevin McHattie



KEVIN McHattie insists surviving the ‘worst of the worst’ during the dark days of Hearts’ administration can help Gary Locke lead Raith Rovers out of their slump.

McHattie is now in his third spell working under Locke, having come through the ranks at Tynecastle before being reunited with his old Hearts head coach at Kilmarnock last season and then at Rovers in the summer.

Locke did not have his contract renewed after suffering relegation with financially-stricken Hearts in 2014 and, after initially joining Killie as assistant, quit Rugby Park in January after nearly a year in charge.


Against such a backdrop of crisis management, McHattie believes Locke is perfectly placed to turn around fortunes as Raith go into today’s clash with Dumbarton on the back of a three-game losing streak.

The full-back said: “I worked with the gaffer at Hearts and there was the administration side of things.

“He’s been through the worst of the worst and he’s managed to pull players through.

“So he will get the boys through a slump. I have every faith in the manager and so do all the players.”

After opening the season with four games undefeated, Rovers have lost back-to-back league games against Falkirk and Queen of the South, and suffered a shock defeat to League Two leaders Forfar Athletic in the IRN-BRU Cup.

Locke insists the Kirkcaldy men have not suddenly become a bad team and McHattie reckons returning to the nuts and bolts of what brought them success earlier in the season can get points back on the board.

He added: “We have had a hard start to the season, playing the likes of Dunfermline, Falkirk, Queen of the South and going down to Ayr for the first game of the season.

“It has been a tough start and we just need to get back to basics with everyone working hard as a team, being compact and hard to score against.

“Hopefully, the goals will come for us and the three points will follow.”