MARK WARBURTON was full of praise for his side’s first-half performance tonight as they defeated Raith Rovers 1-0 in Kirkcaldy.

The Light Blues claimed their only goal of the evening on the stroke of half-time through Andy Halliday after completely dominating the opening period without being able to find a way to goal.

The second-half passed with no major goalmouth incidents for the Gers, but the back-door was also kept firmly shut, and the manager was delighted with his defenders’ contribution to the victory.

Speaking after the game to, Warburton said: “We put in a very good first-half performance, and in-truth, the only negative was that we should have been further ahead at half time. We dominated possession and looked very, very good.

“In the second half, it was difficult – the surface was bobbly and there was the wind etc, and we maybe didn’t create too many chances, but it was still a very good performance.

“We looked strong defensively too, and it was difficult with the conditions, and the only disappointment was not getting two or three more goals to justify all the hard work we put in. But again, another game has gone and it’s three more points.”

Andy Halliday returned to the side tonight following his suspension, and he will grab all the headlines for the winning goal and a generally excellent performance.

Warburton was pleased for his midfield maestro, although he was delighted with the efforts of a number of his players.

He continued: “It was good for him to get back on it, and in the more advanced position too. I also thought Dom Ball was excellent – he was today and neat in everything that he did and his positioning was good too, and we are really pleased with him.

“Tav first half was excellent, as was Lee Wallace, and Wes too showed good concentration.

“When you look at our bench tonight too, we had quality there. Billy King scored a great goal on Saturday, Nicky Law as started five of the last six games, and Nicky Clark, who has been outstanding in training, is a top pro every single day in training.

“They are all really good professionals who didn’t get on tonight, and we have to have that competition for places. It’s a negative in terms of them not getting pitch time, but it is all about the squad, not any individual.”

Up front, Kenny Miller also put in a strong showing, and the manager revealed how keen he is to ensure his central striker is prepared in the ebst possible manner for every fixture.

He added: “I thought he was excellent on Saturday, and he was again today. I’m conscious that he works so hard, so we want to make sure the loading on him is right. We talk a lot with Craig Flanningan about him, and if we can get him right, he is a very valuable asset for us.”

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