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Christophe Berra’s startling Raith Rovers stats that underline importance of former Hearts and Scotland star

McGlynn, left, knows the importance of Berra
McGlynn, left, knows the importance of Berra

“All the stats are there in terms of his importance to our club,” noted Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn prior to Christophe Berra’s return to action against Kilmarnock.

“He is a massive player for us.”

The former Hearts and Scotland defender — who only trained twice before being pitched into action at Rugby Park — was unable to stop the Fifers from succumbing to a 3-0 defeat on Saturday.

However, his availability is a huge fillip to the Rovers as they seek to arrest a winless streak in the Championship of nine matches.

That is not anecdotal or presumptuous. The numbers are definitive.

With Berra

Of Raith Rovers’ 38 competitive matches in all competitions this season, Berra has completed the full 90 minutes on 29 occasions.

The Kirkcaldy outfit have won 15 of those outings — a win percentage of 51.7%.

They have only lost four times, with the most recent of those coming against Killie at the weekend.

Rovers have kept 11 clean sheets in that time and conceded 26 goals — less than one per match.

It should be noted that those numbers are somewhat padded by Rovers’ Premier Sports campaign, lining up against the likes of Brechin and Cowdenbeath, and the recent Scottish Cup victory over Banks O’Dee.

Nevertheless, those are fine defensive figures.

Without Berra

Rovers’ fortunes without the 37-year-old differ sharply.

Berra has either not featured, or failed to complete the full 90 minutes, on nine occasions this term.

Raith have won one of those fixtures — a 1-0 victory over Forfar Athletic in the SPFL Trust trophy, during which Berra was replaced after 87 minutes.

They have drawn four and lost a further four.

He was sent off against Partick Thistle on December 18 with the score balanced at 0-0. Playing the last half-hour with 10 men, Rovers would go on to lose 1-0.

Berra was replaced due to injury after 58 minutes when Arbroath visited Stark’s Park on January 15. With the game balanced at 1-1 when he departed, Raith ultimately lost 2-1.

He limped off at 0-0 after 22 minutes against Morton last month. The game would end 2-2.

In total, Raith have conceded 14 goals when Berra has not completed 90 minutes — an average of 1.55 per game.

Importance recognised

Importance: Christophe Berra

Little wonder, then, that McGlynn has acknowledged the importance of Berra’s return as Rovers seek to ignite their faltering promotion bid.

“His leadership qualities and experience are going to be invaluable,” added McGlynn. “He only really got back to training on Thursday and Friday so he probably needs another week of training.

“He needs that to get up to speed. He hasn’t played an awful lot recently but it’s important to have Christophe back.”

Christophe Berra: Raith Rovers won’t give up on Championship title dream

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