Cup tie important to Raith’s fragile finances

0112046 SSFF raith dundee 'Allan Walker thinks he's through but Neil McGregor's trailing leg catches him - Raith Rovers against Dundee FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
0112046 SSFF raith dundee 'Allan Walker thinks he's through but Neil McGregor's trailing leg catches him - Raith Rovers against Dundee FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
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IT may be Scottish Cup weekend, but there will be no break from First Division football for Raith Rovers this Saturday.

Rovers welcome league rivals Morton to Stark’s Park for a fourth round tie that manager John McGlynn expects to be just like every other league match.

“It’s a cup tie, but it’s a game we’ll see 36 times this season in that it will be a very close game between two First Division teams,” he said.

“Like we’ve experienced in all of our league games it will be thin margins that decide it – the number of 1-0 matches we’ve been involved in shows that.

Glamour

“The fact that it’s a knock-out competition adds that wee bit more excitement, and it’s an opportunity to gain funds – and possibly glamour – if we get through.”

With an £80,000 projected loss hanging over the club, McGlynn is well aware of the financial implications of the fixture.

“Things are so tight financially that a cup run would certainly help,” he said. “You see Dundee getting a live TV game, as have Arbroath and Peterhead – that will be helping them no end.

“If we get through and get a good draw, who knows, it might be us getting a bit of income from a TV game.”

McGlynn has selection concerns ahead of the tie, with Dougie Hill ruled out for up to eight weeks with knee ligament damage sustained in Saturday’s defeat to Dundee, while Willie Dyer is suspended following his red card against Alloa in the third round defeat last season.

Concerns

With Brian Graham also recovering from a hernia operation, loan striker Stephen Reynolds back at St Johnstone, and a request to extend the loan deals of the five Hearts players still unresolved at the time of going to print, McGlynn admitted he is running out of options.

“We knew at the start of the season the size of squad we were running with when we signed only 13 first team players, and filled in the squad with five under 19s,” McGlynn said.

“It’s all very well saying we can manage with that, but we were always going to struggle with injuries, and that’s where we’re at now.

“We’ll be down to the bare bones on Saturday, although we’re hoping that Hearts will at least allow a few, if not all of the loan players to return until the end of January.

“I’m expecting to find out in the next 24 hours.”