Wed, Oct


Raging Raith Rovers star Tony Rougier last night insisted he'd never cheat the club which gave him his crack at the big time.

Trinidadian ace Rougier was stunned to read yesterday that he'd rubbished Rovers and didn't want to play for the Fifers again.

Now the big striker fears a backlash from fans when the club take on Dunfermline in tomorrow's Fife derby.

But he's pleading with supporters to give him a chance after denying having made the remarks, which appeared in an English-based newspaper.

Rougier said: "That story was 100 per cent untrue - the quotes were made up. In fact, I said the opposite.

"I regard Kirkcaldy as my home from home. I have been treated very well by everyone since coming here from Trinidad two years ago and people reading that story will feel betrayed by me.

"I told a paper in Trinidad that I had one or two problems with the Raith Rovers chairman but I never said anything bad about the club."

Rougier is out-of-contract at the end of the season and admits he would love a move to a bigger outfit.

He added: "That is only natural. Anybody who does not want to play at as high a level as possible shouldn't be playing the game.

"But that doesn't mean I don't want to play for Raith for as long as I am here.

"Everybody knows my style of play. I try things that don't always work and I'm worried that our fans will have read that story and they'll be thinking that I'm not trying.

"That would be wrong. I'll be giving 100 per cent to Raith Rovers in every game and if the club does not sell me before the end of the season I'll be doing my best to help us survive in the Premier Division.

"I just don't want the fans reacting badly to me. If I had said those things I would have owned up - but I didn't.

"This is very important to me. I live in the town with my wife and young child and I do not want them to be upset by people saying things to us.

"I realise I might be leaving at the end of the season but I don't want my time at Raith Rovers to end like this.

"The club gave me the chance to be a professional footballer and I am still studying the game.

"I want to travel and to become a better player - but that doesn't mean I'm turning my back on Raith."

The 25-year-old hitman was dragged into Stark's Park yesterday by boss Iain Munro to explain his alleged comments.

Rougier said: "The manager was angry, which would have been understandable if my quotes were real.

"But I have managed to sort things out with him and hopefully I can do the same with the Raith Rovers fans."

Munro said: "I've spoken to Tony and he is genuinely upset by all of this.

"I accept what he has said but it was important for him to put the record straight with our fans.

"I am hoping he is able to do this as we need everybody pulling together between now and the end of the season."