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  • Raith Rovers: The View From the Opposition

    • By UWTB1893
    • 16th July 2017, 7:22 pm
    • 1,063 views
    • 7 comments

    In what will hopefully be the first of many for this new feature, we welcome rival fans from our up-and-coming games to give their views on the current events at their club.

    Our first guest to take part is Raith Rover fan and Terrace Podcast contributor, Andy Harrow.

    Dundee take on Raith Rovers at Starks Park this Tuesday in the Betfred Cup, KO 7:45pm .Read what Andy had to say!

    To kick off this new feature, as a lifelong Raith Rovers fan, what’s your first memories of supporting the club?

    The first game my Dad took me to was the 7-0 victory over St. Mirren on the opening match of the 1992/93 season, but the memory of my second game is more vivid – a 5-0 shellacking to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the Scottish Cup. Our goalkeeper got injured, which meant tough-tackling central midfielder, Davie Sinclair, spent the majority of the game between the sticks. He was utterly abject. To make matters worse, we had a man sent off and Bobby Williamson scored a hat-trick.

    Last season saw Rovers lose their Championship status in the play offs. Did you think the club would be fighting relegation last term?

    Not initially, no! We’d finished fourth the previous season and although the appointment of Gary Locke tempered expectations, we should have finished no worse than seventh with the bones of the same squad. After a promising start, our form fell off a cliff and we didn’t win a single game between November and February. By that stage, it was pretty clear we were in serious trouble. The appointment of John Hughes, with hindsight, did nothing to help slow our descent to League One and the play-off defeat to Brechin was as depressing as it was predictable.

    John Hughes left almost immediately after your relegation was confirmed and replaced with Barry Smith by a few weeks later. Were you happy with Smith’s appointment and what was the general view of the fans regarding it?

    If the reaction to Barry Smith’s appointment could be described in a single gesture, it would be a shrug. He’s not a particularly exciting appointment – he’s not an especially young manager and his recent track record isn’t stellar – but he showed at Dundee he’s capable of galvanising a squad and achieving success, so fans are willing to give him a chance. Plus, he’s neither Gary Locke nor John Hughes, so he’s immediately got that going for him.

    Understandably, there has been a good few coming and goings through the doors at Starks Park. Are you happy with the deals that have been done so far?

    The most surprising aspect this pre-season is how few new signings we’ve made. The two strikers we’ve brought in –Liam Buchanan and Ramsden’s Cup hero, Greig Spence – look astute transfers, given the number of goals they pilfered in League One last season, while our new centre half, Euan Murray, looks competent. Otherwise, the bulk of the squad from last season have signed on for a shot at redemption. It’s also a big season for our young players to prove themselves, especially Ross Callachan and Lewis Vaughan. Both have offered glimpses of their talent and, assuming we don’t loan either to a league rival in January, it’s a chance to prove they can deliver on a consistent basis.

    What’s the aim for Raith Rovers this season in the League?

    Promotion as champions. As one of only three full-time clubs (including a shambolic Airdrie), we should be near the top throughout, but our record in the playoffs (no wins, ever) means we need to secure top spot. I can’t see us staying full-time if we spend a second season in League One.

    How do you feel the new format of the Betfred League Cup has gone so far?

    I like it, actually. It gives each team a few juicy fixtures at the start of the season and last year’s version threw up quite a few surprises (as I’m sure you’ll remember…)

    As us Dundee fans know, it can throw up a few cup upsets. With Group B consisting of Dundee Raith, Dundee United, Cowdenbeath and Buckie Thistle, is their potential for a few shocks?

    Would Dundee losing to their city neighbours be an upset these days? Otherwise, Raith are probably best placed – we’ve improved as pre-season has progressed and beat Ross County on penalties in this competition last season. Buckie Thistle might beat Cowdenbeath, given how poor the Blue Brazil were last season.

    Can you name a player from each team that the opposition should be wary of?

    Dundee – it would be just the thing for Craig Wighton to deliver his best ever display at Stark’s Park. Otherwise, I’ve seen footage of the punch Randy Wolters packs, so I’d be a bit wary of him too.

    Dundee United – James Keatings once scored a hat-trick at Stark’s and should be a shrewd signing for United.

    Cowdenbeath – A Cowdenbeath-supporting friend has suggested Cammy Muirhead. He came through the Fife Academy and scored against Buckie.

    Buckie Thistle – I would be lying if I said I knew any of Buckie’s players.

    Who do you think will reach the final of the League Cup and eventually win the trophy?

    It’s hard to see past Celtic given their form last season and Hearts will be the ceremonial whipping boys in the final.

    How do you think Dundee will do in the League this season after struggling last term?

    Another season of bottom-six misery, I’m afraid. Hamilton will surely – surely! – be relegated in the automatic berth this season, but Dundee’s squad still looks relatively weak. Admittedly, Scott Allen seems a good signing and a few of the news guys are relative unknown quantities, so it might depend how useful they are.

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    chomp my root

    Posted · Report

    Good addition getting an outsiders point of view, the problem with being a single club forum means we can disappear up our own arses at times. Well done mate.

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    UWTB1893

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    Cheers mate. The vast amount of the feedback is positive so I'll keep it going. Which is a good thing as I've already got the League Cup ones lined up 😂

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    SM1893

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    Brilliant to get a point of view from outside our bubble!

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    Abernethy Dee

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    Great idea, will look forward to this it's always good to hear how other teams fans perceive Dundee, thank you.

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    TheDarkBlues

    Posted · Report

    On 16/07/2017 at 23:55, UWTB1893 said:

    Cheers mate. The vast amount of the feedback is positive so I'll keep it going. Which is a good thing as I've already got the League Cup ones lined up 😂

    Decided we shouldn't do this any more......

     

    :lol2:

    Kidding!

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    UWTB1893

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    8 minutes ago, TheDarkBlues said:

    Decided we shouldn't do this any more......

     

    :lol2:

    Kidding!

    After managing to find a Buckie Thistle fan to do this, I'll riot if it's put on the old scrap heap :lol2:

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    Gedee

    Posted · Report

    All responses are valid and bang on the mark. (Excellent) Chomp sums it up well in the first post.

    Trust him to bring "arses" into a respectable threed (near as bad as me) It's the "John influence":wub:

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    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893
      “I have no complaints.” Said the Dundee manager.
      “I think Celtic were worthy winners and I’m not going to say that they were not.
      “I do have a complaint about the third goal because we should have had a freekick.
      “I did think the first goal was a penalty and there was contact, although I’d like to see it again.
      “Up until that point I felt we were containing Celtic and they weren’t opening us up too much.
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      “Listen, I don’t sit here and enjoy a defeat but we can take positives from the match.
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      “I think there was a remarkable workrate put in by my players against a top-class Celtic side.
      “They didn’t rest too many players for the Old Firm game and I think that showed good respect to my side.
      “I don’t think it was a 4-0 and it flattered Celtic a bit with the goals towards the end.
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      It would prove to be a frustrating evening for Dundee.

      Celtic would open the scoring from the penalty spot after Scott Sinclair was adjusted to have been brought down in the box before the player slotted home the penalty.

      The Dees then had a golden opportunity when a Randy Wolters cross found El Bakhtaoui unmarked in front of the goal but the striker completely missed it.

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    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893
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      Supporting Celtic. How did you become a supporter of the Glasgow club?

      I was first introduced to Celtic when I was five playing underage football in Ireland for Celtic Bhoys. We wore Celtic kits and I began to watch their games and we travelled over from Ireland twice a year for games.

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      It was around the time we broke the Lisbon Lions' record in January in the win over Hearts, but in April when we had no recognised striker fit, I thought we would lose a game away from home or slip up late on against Aberdeen. But as ever we found a way to win games or not lose them.

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      Yeah, the league is all but a foregone conclusion even at this stage, no disrespect to other 11 teams in the league including Dundee. Our squad is simply far more superior and over 38 games we'll once again rarely drop points.

      On the other hand, you suffered your heaviest ever defeat in Europe at the hands of PSG last week, falling 5-0 at home. I think most people would have had the French team on their coupon for this game but possible also expected it to be closer than the final scoreline due to your home record in this competition. What’s your thoughts on the defeat and also how do you think you will do in the Champions League despite this defeat?

      I thought if we could play like we did against Manchester City we'd have a chance but from the first minute, PSG took control of the game and made it a training drill for themselves. They were on a totally different level from almost any team I've ever seen play at Celtic Park and were so comfortable on the ball and receiving it. I still believe we have a good chance of getting third. Next week's game against Anderlecht will give us a better idea of that expectation becoming a reality.

      Even at this stage of the season, some people have brought up the possibility of Celtic going the whole season undefeated. What do you think should be the target for the club this term in the league and cups?

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      I’ve said to most of the people who have agreed to take part in this but it’s more than likely going to be your title this season. Who though, will be your closes challengers? There seems to be some pundits suggesting that The Rangers are in the process of closing the gap with yourself. Do you believe this?

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      Is there any players for Dundee that have impressed you and could cause a threat to Celtic?

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      Finally, prediction time.

      We haven’t beat you at Dens since 1988. You haven’t been beat in 55 domestic games. I’ve no qualms saying that if we manage to beat Celtic on Wednesday, it will go down as an upset. Can you see a Dark Blue win or will The Bhoys see their name in the hat for the semi-final draw?
      I can't see anything other than a win for us on Wednesday night. Given our run in domestic football and the depth of our squad, we will be much fresher going into the game with the personnel we have available. That said, someday our run will end, and it'll more than likely be on the road in a Cup game so who knows, maybe Dundee could be the team to do that.
       

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