Raith boss keeping feet on the ground after midweek win

Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon
Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon

Raith Rovers boss Ray McKinnon is keeping his feet on the ground despite watching his team go seven points clear in the race for the Premiership play-offs.

The 2-0 home win over closest challengers Queen of the South on Tuesday - Raith’s fourth straight home win - saw them strengthen their grip on fourth place.

However, with nine games remaining, six away from home, McKinnon stressed that nobody at Stark’s Park is getting carried away.

“We’re not even looking at it like that,” he said.

“We’ve just got to keep playing and see where we end up.

“If we get into the play-offs, great, if we don’t we’ll regroup for next season.

“Now that we’re in that position we’ll give it everything we’ve got to try and stay there.

“It will be tough because there’s a lot of teams trying to chase us.

“There will be twists and turns before the end of the season, but we’re in a good position.”

McKinnon expressed delight with his team’s convincing display in the midweek win over Queens.

“I was really pleased with the boys, and they really went about their business properly,” he said.

“In the last couple of games we’ve lost control at certain points, but we were in control for long periods.

“They are a very good side so that shows you how well we’ve played. It was a really strong performance, so I’m obviously delighted.”

Raith were much more solid than the weekend 4-3 win over St Mirren and McKinnon highlighted the repositioning of Lewis Toshney in midfield as key to the midweek performance.

“Against Rangers, Toshney played in holding midfield role, but in a three,” he said.

“On Saturday he was playing in a two but still doing the same things - sitting in there in front of the back four.

“On Tuesday night he was more up on the game, winning things, and it gave us a great balance. I thought he was outstanding along with many other players.”

There was concern for Iain Davidson who was taken to hospital by ambulance after being knocked unconcious following a clash of heads in the early stages of the Queens match, but he returned home the same night and was said to be feeling fine.

He is, however, a major doubt for Saturday when Raith travel to Alloa to face a side 11 points adrift at the bottom of the table, and without a win since beating Rovers 1-0 at Stark’s Park on January 12.

With Morton facing Rangers, and Queens facing St Mirren, the game represents a good chance for Raith to further extend their lead over their play-off rivals.

“It’s going to be a totally different game, away from home on a narrow astro park,” McKinnon said.

“We have to think about how we’re going to set up and play.

“It will be a difficult game - they are fighting for their lives - but we go there in good form and hopefully we can maintain it.

“If we can play the way we did on Tuesday night it will give us a good chance of taking something from the game.”

McKinnon has rotated the squad to good effect in recent weeks and may do so again on Saturday.

“I think we’ve utlised the squad well and everybody is raring to go,” he said.

“We’ve got selection headaches, but good ones. It’s a good position to be in.”