Raith boss John Hughes has dismissed speculation that had linked him with a move to Motherwell, insisting that he is “100% focused” on rescuing Rovers from their current predicament at the wrong end of the Championship table.
The Steelmen had been on the hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Mark McGhee with the present Stark’s Park incumbent being heavily linked with the vacant post in recent days.
However, the Fir Park board opted to appoint former Northern Ireland international Stephen Robinson on Wednesday.
That decision was something Hughes insisted was none of his business and he is just fully focused on Raith’s game with Dundee United tomorrow.
The 52-year-old said: “I’m the manager of Raith Rovers, so I couldn’t speak to Motherwell.
“The one thing I’ll say is I pride myself on my honesty and my loyalty – maybe that’s my weakness as well, maybe I should look after myself.
“But I’m committed to Raith Rovers and the enthusiasm that Eric (Drysdale) and the chairman showed for me to come here, I want to reward that.
“I’ll be here to the end of the season, first and foremost, and we need to get wins before we can start moving this forward.
“We need to get wins to get us up that league and it has to come from these guys. The players need to show togetherness and willingness, no matter what, to make sure that happens.
“I am 100% focused on Raith Rovers.”
The Kirkcaldy side face another tough test tomorrow at Stark’s Park and Hughes is hoping that a key player will be available after missing last week’s defeat at Dumbarton.
However, keeper casualties Kevin Cuthbert, Aaron Lennox and Conor Brennan will definitely miss out along with midfielder Scott Robertson who has undergone another op in a bid to finally clear his long-term groin problem.
The manager said: “The goalkeepers are still injured but we’re hoping Iain Davidson will be OK.
“Davo had a tight hamstring last week.
“Scott has had an operation to release the abductor muscles in his groin.
“So, hopefully that will be the final thing and he’ll be back ready to go in two or three weeks.
“It’s been a long haul for him and he’s a good lad as well.
“He’s been sorely missed, someone with his experience.”
Hughes watched tomorrow’s opponents playing on Wednesday night against bottom of the table St Mirren with United losing 3-2 in Paisley.
The manager saw enough to decide that the Buddies will haul themselves off the foot of the table and that although United may have lost, they still possess a lot of threats including a player Hughes knows well, Tony Andreu who scored his side’s two goals.
Hughes said: “There has to be a reality check about the situation we’re in.
“The performance we got against Dumbarton was nothing like the performance we got against St Mirren.
“So, you’re left scratching your head.
“We were at the St Mirren game on Wednesday and I will say right now they won’t be the team that goes down.
“So, we need to stand up, look ourselves in the mirror and get rid of the shackles.
“I think United are a right good team. At times, they dominated the game but they gave themselves too much to do.
“All credit to St Mirren and I’ve always felt they’re not a bad side.
“We’re going to have to be at it to beat Dundee United.
“They’ll be disappointed over the last month or so that they’ve not been picking up full points, but they’ve got plenty at their disposal.
“Tony’s a very good friend of mine. We brought him over from France to Livingston and I know what he’s all about.
“I spent time with him last week and he’s a really talented footballer.
“He can go with left and right foot, he wants to shoot, he can come off the play and link it up.
“So, we’re going to have to make sure we keep an eye on him.
“They’re a good side and they’re a better side than us, that’s for sure.
“But that doesn’t mean to say they’re going to win the game.”