Grant Gillespie insists he is fully focused on beating Montrose today – and hopefully help Kevin Cuthbert secure the Raith manager job on a permanent basis.
Like the rest of the players at Stark’s Park, the 27-year-old midfielder was left stunned when the man who brought him to the club, Barry Smith, resigned as boss at the start of this month.
Cuthbert has been in interim charge of team matters for the two games since and the former goalie has thrown his hat in the ring to take over on a full-time basis.
Gillespie played with “Cat” when the pair were at Hamilton together and he has been mightily impressed with his coaching on the training field.
However, while he would like Cuthbert to be named manager, Gillespie admits the players simply need to concentrate on Montrose.
He said: “It was a shock when I heard the news Barry was resigning, but he must have had his reasons and it’s not up to us to go and find out why and ask questions.
“Our main job is to go out onto the park and play football.
“So, it was a shock but you can never guess what’s going to happen in football and you just have to get on with it.
“I played with Cat for a couple of seasons at Hamilton and we played in the same team that got promoted against Hibs.
“He was a big factor in me coming here. He was the one who got in contact and asked if I would be open to coming and signing here.”
Gillespie added: “I owe Cat a lot but Barry was obviously the manager at the time and he gave me the chance to come here and play and get back enjoying my football again. So, I owe Barry as much as I owe Cat.
“But, obviously, Cat is the manager at this time and I’ll give my all for him and whatever happens will happen.
“Everybody who will speak about Cat will only have good things to say about him.
“Since he’s taken the manager’s job he’s been brilliant with everybody. His training has been good and we’ve worked at a high tempo. He’s got his ideas across and everybody seems to know what he wants.
“It’s up to us to go out and show that and deliver on Saturday.
“A win on Saturday would help him but, for us, I think it has to be another game of football.
“We can’t be thinking if we win Cat will get the job and if we lose that’ll ruin his chances.
“It’s another game for us to try to get three points and try to get that top spot back off Arbroath.”
Cuthbert’s stint as interim boss got off to the worse start possible when Raith were beaten 5-0 in the Irn-Bru Cup two weeks ago.
Gillespie admitted the players owed him an apology for the way they played in the Highlands and they delivered it in part when they drew with Brechin last week.
He added: “I think it was vitally important we showed a response to such a poor performance and result.
“Going into the Brechin game we felt if we upped the work-rate and pressing and our quality on ball we should have had enough to win the game.
“Again, it was a slightly disappointing result, but we felt the result was much better.
“The best apology we could have given to Cat was, come the game against Brechin, everybody stood up to be counted.
“We’ve come away with a point. It probably wasn’t a bad point in the grand scheme of things but, in the position we were in, we felt we should have seen the game out and come away with three.”