Raith Rovers manager John Hughes insists he will have a proper goalkeeper for visit of St Mirren



Raith Rovers manager John Hughes insists his side will have a real goalkeeper for Wednesday’s crucial Championship visit of fellow strugglers St Mirren.

Forward Ryan Stevenson controversially had to go in goal for last week’s narrow defeat at Ayr United after the club’s request for a postponement was rejected by the SPFL.

Raith’s recognised shot-stoppers Conor Brennan, Kevin Cuthbert and Aaron Lennox are all currently sidelined through injury and a plan to recruit third choice Celtic keeper Logan Bailly for the Ayr clash collapsed at the last minute.

(pic: Raith TV)

At the time, Hughes launched a scathing attack on the league body and described the situation as ‘diabolical’, although Raith chief executive Eric Drysdale later admitted that he was unaware of a signing loophole that was open to the club.

Eighth place Rovers, who are without a league win in 15 matches, are only six points clear of basement side St Mirren and Hughes is convinced he will add a goalkeeper in time.

He said: “Will a goalkeeper be in place? 100 per cent. We’ve been working really hard. I want to bring in a goalkeeper that the boys go, ‘oh aye!’. Someone that can do himself justice.

“I want someone with experience and I think the boys deserve that, that’s nothing against anyone else. There’s some wonderful young goalkeepers coming through in Scotland.

“I was a centre-half and I would like to know I had a goalkeeper in there with some experience.

“I hope we learn from it for the future and don’t get into the mess again, just for Scottish football.

“It’s done and dusted. Stevo went in goals and it was not his fault we got beat, he made one or two saves.”

The Buddies are enjoying a league revival after signing ten new players in January and Hughes, who replaced Gary Locke last month, admits he is envious of Saints counterpart Jack Ross.

He added: “I’ll tell you right now, we’re in a relegation fight and the quicker we realise that and roll our sleeves up, we’ll be better for it.

“It’s a harder job than I thought, that’s for sure. I wish I could have had a window, we’re playing against a St Mirren side that’s beaten the league leaders in Hibs and acquitted themselves very well against Celtic.

“There’s no secret to football, it’s about getting better players than the other team and that’s what Jack’s done because he’s had the opportunity in the window.”