After the disappointment of a late late winner for Raith Rovers, James McPake told the media:-
“I’m gutted for the players, if I’m honest. Every defeat’s hard to take but when you throw in everything it was as well – a derby and the performance. We asked the players for a performance. We know the last two weeks have been really poor and nowhere near good enough. We can’t say that about today but when you have four or five chances, you need to – or you hope to – take a couple of them.
“I’ll be honest, we could have – not been out of sight – but we could have had a comfortable lead in the game. Ayr United had the same last week against us and they didn’t take their chances, and we were in the game to the very end. In terms of the performance, it was great but I’m gutted for that group of players.”
Most of the chances fell to Aaron Comrie?
“We had a few chances, Owen Moffat had a couple of efforts, Jakubiak had an effort, Aaron had a couple, Sam Fisher made Dabrowski pull off a great save in the first couple of minutes. It’s all ifs and buts – if one of them goes in. We probably needed one of them to go in. At the time, early on when we were doing well, I thought we needed one of them to go in just off the back of two really poor performances but credit to the players, they kept that standard up.
“It’s not sour grapes. We should have won the game but, credit to them, they kept at it and it’s a great finish from Stanton in the end. That’s the difference in the game, they managed to take that chance and we couldn’t, unfortunately.”
Did you feel a point where you thought you might regret not taking those chances?
“That’s always there in the background. It’s the same when you’re 1-0 up, you’re thinking it’s never safe. I was standing there with a couple of minutes to go thinking I’m going to be doing a team-talk devastated we’re coming away with a point.
“That’s football and hindsight’s a great thing. Could we have done this, could we have done that? On another day, the chances go in. I can’t fault the players. Five changes from the team last week and it wasn’t all down to last week’s performance and result.
“We’ve got a good squad now players are coming back. We’ll assess the ones that went off today, but everyone in red today gave that support a performance that you’re used to. Performances aren’t all that matter, but if consistently you keep that level up, then you end up winning more games than you don’t but this is a sore one for them.”
How is Rhys Breen?
“It doesn’t look great at the minute, he felt a twinge, more than a twinge in his hamstring. It is far too early. Benedictus should be fine. It was always a risk today and it’s not something we like doing. Thankfully it’s not the foot, just his full body. His legs were starting to seize up a bit. He’s done a lot of work in a short period of time. Then add in the emotion and the psychological side of coming back to his old club, he would have been hyped up for the game. I thought he was excellent in the first half, and equally Chris Hamilton slotting in there. Benedictus should be fine, I’m more than certain he will. Rhys will need a scan probably to determine how serious that hamstring is.”
“It’s a sore one, in a strange way we had two really poor performances against Partick Thistle and Ayr, and that’ll be in the one that’ll hurt the most. You can walk off a pitch saying we were really poor but when you walk off thinking you have done enough to win a game it can hurt you. Credit to Raith Rovers, they took the chance in the end, good luck to them.”
Commenting on the scuffle on the park at the end of the match, James replied:-
“There’s emotion there. It’s not what I expect, but they’re trying to see a game out, we’re trying to get back into it. Flip it round, would we have celebrated in that way? Probably. Maybe on the last day of the season we would have done that, certainly not at this early stage. Look, they’ve won the game, they’re in a derby. Good luck to them but I’d certainly be disappointed in my staff if that was the way they behaved.”