New boss John Hughes reveals he told Raith Rovers players to ‘sort out’ defensive make-up for Hibs debut

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JOHN Hughes has revealed he charged his Raith Rovers players with coming up with the defensive solution that helped hold Hibs to a draw at the weekend.

The new Stark’s Park manager was left with a headache for his dugout debut after learning that left-back Kevin McHattie was suspended for the visit of his old club.

With the versatile Iain Davidson, who has filled in at right-back and centre-half this season, also banned, it left ‘Yogi’ seeking a solution to his selection problems.

So, the former Falkirk, Hibs and Inverness Caley Thistle boss decided to give his four fit defenders – skipper Jason Thomson, Kyle Benedictus, Craig Barr and Jean-Yves M’voto – the responsibility for shaping the back four.

He explained: “I told them ‘we’ve only got four defenders, sort it out’.

“They came up with the decision. Jason said he would go to left-back and Benny (Benedictus) said he would play right-back.

“That’s what I’m after, guys standing up and taking responsibility.

“It was them that came up with what we were going to do and we were thankful for it.”

BENCHMARK

Having been given a baptism of fire against the Championship leaders at the weekend, Hughes’ next challenge is a trip to face Queen of the South this weekend.

Although content with a 1-1 draw against Hibs, bringing to an end six successive league defeats, the result still stretched Rovers’ run without a win to 15 matches.

And the new Raith boss is eager for his players to now build on an encouraging first performance of his reign.

He added on Raith TV: “Football starts with a mindset. If you’re not excited and you’re not ready to play and you’re not ready to go then you shouldn’t put the strip on.

“I need to keep these guys boiling over with competition for places.

“What we’ve done is set a benchmark and made a good start, let’s try to build on it.”

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