DCSIMG

Pampered ahead of the big derby

4612057 SSFF raith falkirk 
Grant Anderson celebrates his late winner as both Michael McGivern and the ball end up in the net - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

4612057 SSFF raith falkirk Grant Anderson celebrates his late winner as both Michael McGivern and the ball end up in the net - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

RAith Rovers manager Grant Murray is prepared to show his players some TLC to make sure they are in peak shape for Saturday’s big Fife derby.

Rovers endured a gruelling Scottish Cup tie against Airdrie on Tuesday night, requiring extra-time to seal a 4-3 win, on the back of a hard fought victory over Falkirk on Saturday.

Murray told the Press: “We’ll be wrapping the players in cotton wool.

“Some people might say players get pampered as it is, but we’ll definitely look after them in the build-up to Saturday.

“I’ve been in that position myself as a player and sometimes these midweek games take their toll - maybe not on the night but then it hits you a few days later.

Ready

“With the size of squad we’ve got we need to look after everyone and make sure they are ready for Saturday.

“We’re been involved in two hard fought physical games this week, and the pitches are starting to soften up, and holding water, and that takes it out on the legs as well.

“The guys have been fantastic for me and they are professional enough to look after themselves and know what they need to do as a recovery.

“But I’ll give them everything they want to help them along and make sure they are prepared for Saturday.”

Murray wants his players to learn from their first derby of the season – a disappointing 3-1 at East End Park.

“That game passed us by,” he said. “It might have been the occasion that got to them, but I’ve said to the guys that you have to enjoy derby games as a player.

Rectify

“You might not play in many over your career so make the most of them when they come along.

“The majority of our squad didn’t perform that day, and we want to rectify that on Saturday.”

Dunfermline approach the match on the back of a 5-1 reverse at Firhill last week, and Murray does not think that will influence Saturday’s derby.

“I don’t think there’s a right or wrong time to have a derby,” he said. “You would play them every week if you could.

“They’ll be smarting from that result, but I’ve worked under Jim Jeffries before and one thing is for sure, he’ll have his players ready for a derby match. It’s up to myself, and rest of staff, to make sure we’re ready.”

The match is likely to come too soon for injured goalkeeper David McGurn, but Brian Graham returns to the squad after suspension, while David Smith is also available again after missing the Airdrie match while away with Scotland under 21s.

 

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