RAITH AIM FOR RETURN TO TOP

3010p007 raith cowden 'Raith Rovers against Cowdenbeath at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
3010p007 raith cowden 'Raith Rovers against Cowdenbeath at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

RAITH Rovers will bid to reclaim the number one position they have held for most of the season this Saturday.

Dunfermline’s victory over Ross County last Tuesday – a match brought forward due to the Highlanders involvement in the ALBA Challenge Cup final this Sunday – allowed the Pars to leapfrog Raith at the top of the First Division.

After both teams won at the weekend, the onus is now on Rovers to collect three points in their game in hand against Cowdenbeath, which would restore the Kirkcaldy side’s one-point lead over their title rivals going into the final four games.

Euphoria

And Raith boss John McGlynn hopes his team can carry the euphoria from the last gasp win over Dundee into the mini Fife derby.

McGlynn told SportsPress: “Dunfermline took advantage of a situation where a game was played in advance, and fair play to them, they did exactly what they had to do by winning the game.

“That happened the last time Dunfermline went top of the table. It came during a period when we weren’t playing games.

“We find ourselves in the situation where we can go back top, but there’s another 11 players out there with their own agenda.

“Cowdenbeath are trying to get away from the play-off position and we respect the situation they are in. They will fight for everything. But we have to be very blinkered and self-motivated towards getting back top.

“We’re going into the game with a lot more confidence than we maybe had three or four games ago after two good performances against Falkirk and Dundee.”

Tightrope

Raith are also keen to avoid bookings with both Iain Davidson and Allan Walker walking a suspension tightrope.

McGlynn said: “Iain’s in a situation where he could miss three games if he picks up a suspension, and he’s not far away from that now.

“Allan is one booking away from a suspension. These two lads have had excellent seasons, so we are treading very carefully.

“It would be a shame for either of them to miss the run-in, but you don’t want them not committed in tackles.

“It’s the nature of the game that you’ll pick up bookings, unfortunately some players bring it on themselves more than others.

“We’re hoping they get through this game without getting booked to be available for the Dunfermline game.”

Rovers will be without injured pair Laurie Ellis and Iain Williamson, while Stephen Simmons and Dougie Hill are suspended.