Derby cup tie is ‘cracking’ way for Raith to start season

Rival managers Grant Murray and Jim Jefferies with the Petrofac Training Cup in the shadow of the Forth Bridge.
Rival managers Grant Murray and Jim Jefferies with the Petrofac Training Cup in the shadow of the Forth Bridge.
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Raith Rovers boss Grant Murray says that he won’t need to get his players fired up for Saturday’s derby against Dunfermline at East End Park.

Describing the Petrofac Training Cup tie as a “cracking way to start the season” Murray said that the importance of the match didn’t need to be stressed.

“Nobody needs to be told how big a game this is,” he said. “I’ve been involved in these games myself as a player. It’s a massive game and East End Park’s a great stadium.

“We want to do well in any competition that we go into, and it would be great if we could make it all the way through to the final again.

“I know how much the players enjoyed it last year. Getting to the final was massive for the club but first and foremost we need to concentrate on one game at a time.

“Going all the way again would be great but not one of our players is going to get carried away, it’s a long way to go before you get to a final so we know how big this Dunfermline game is.”

Murray said he was satisfied with his pre-season schedule but said he has yet to have a full squad to choose from.

“We’ve had to chop and change the side with a few injuries. Kevin Moon’s picked up a wee niggle and Craig Barr’s on his way back but we’re highly confident that we’ll have them back soon.

“It would be great to have everyone available but that’s not happened yet, we’ve got Callum Elliot and Grant Anderson out through suspension right away which we’re disappointed with.

“To pick up a booking last season and to then miss out this year’s game is a strange one if you ask me, but rules are rules and it’s just something we’ll have to deal with. We’ve got a good idea of how we’re going to go on Saturday.”

Dunfermline boss Jim Jefferies and he was also relishing the prospect of a Fife derby.

“There’s a lot of rivalry there with it being a local derby.

“We lost out to Rovers in the Challenge Cup last season but hopefully we’re a wee bit wiser and I feel we’ve strengthened since last year so we’re looking forward to the game.”

Murray said that there’s some added pressure going into the match as cup holders but says he’s confident the players will respond.

“There was always going to be a lot of pressure on us as we’re the holders of the trophy no matter who we were drawn against,” he said.

“There was always going to be a spotlight on us and it turns out that it’s a Fife derby.

“In the past few years these games have been massive so it’s one we’re looking forward to it’s a test for us.

“The guys that we’ve brought in have all played in this league or at a higher level and every one of them has started well on the training side of things and now it’s just about them gelling well into the team so we’re happy enough at this moment in time.

“We’ve a group of players that we’re capable of working with, we’ve got different options in there

“It’s a new season and a new chapter that we’re going into on Saturday.”