IAIN DAVIDSON insists Raith Rovers must be ‘big enough and man enough’ to take their manager’s condemnation on the chin and come back fighting for their Championship survival today.
Rovers manager John Hughes accused his players of ‘not caring’ about the club’s future as they slumped to a sorry 5-0 thrashing from relegation rivals St Mirren last weekend, something Davidson disputes.
It was the latest in a series of candid assessments from the former Hibs and Inverness Caley Thistle boss, who has questioned his team’s character and ability on a number of occasions since he took over from Gary Locke in February.
Davidson missed the Paisley hammering and Hughes’ ‘home truths’ because of illness but admits it did not take him long to be told of a video tirade that has since been viewed tens of thousands of times online.
And, although he did not agree with everything Hughes had to say, he admits he and his team-mates cannot really argue because of performances and their current position in second-bottom place in the table.
He said: “I didn’t need the lads to tell me about it, I think social media put that out there!
“That’s the way the gaffer is – straight to the point.
“The boys would probably have spoken about it in their car schools amongst themselves.
“But they know they haven’t been good enough and we are second bottom for a reason. We haven’t performed and there is no getting away from it.
“You have to be big enough and man enough to take that criticism.
“You can’t agree with everything the gaffer says – I think the boys do care.
“At the end of the day, we do want Saturday to be our last game of this season.
“We do care and hopefully the gaffer might get a reaction after what he said on Saturday.
“We will look to be positive, do the business, regroup and stay up for next year.”
Davidson, who was relegated with Rovers in 2005 and spent four seasons in the Second Division, does not want to contemplate the consequences of his hometown club dropping out of the second-tier again.
A 5-0 hammering from Ayr United this afternoon would relegate Raith automatically but even if they win they are reliant on Hibs beating St Mirren to be spared a nerve-jangling relegation play-off.
He added: “First and foremost, you have to take care of what you are doing and hopefully we can do that.
“Ayr have nothing to lose so it could be a good open game, who knows?
“Fingers crossed we can get the three points but we need Hibs to do us a turn.
“Hibs are getting the trophy so hopefully Neil Lennon puts out a strong team and they are right at it and do us a favour.
“Hopefully come 10 to five on Saturday, the job will be done for us.”