Raith boss: We’ll have a strong eleven despite cuts

KIRKCALDY;'Raith Rovers launch the home kit at Stark's Park; IAIN DAVIDSON'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

KIRKCALDY;'Raith Rovers launch the home kit at Stark's Park; IAIN DAVIDSON'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

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RAITH Rovers manager John McGlynn delivered his first team talk of the new season on Tuesday night as pre-season training got underway.

And although he wished to keep his exact words between himself and his players, he told SportsPress that there is nothing for Rovers to fear in this season’s First Division, despite running with a vastly reduced squad.

“We have retained 10 players from last year, and if you add our two new signings and two loan players, our best 11 will compete with anyone in the league,” he said.

Realist

“I’m not saying we’re going to win the league, I’m a realist, but we don’t expect to be pushed over by anyone.

“Our finances have dropped significantly, so of course it will be tough, but you’ve just got to get on with it.

“Dundee managed to have a great season with 11 players so it can be done, although you have to get lucky with injuries.”

The squad was put through its paces at Hearts training academy at Riccarton, with players undergoing a variety of gruelling fitness exercises, including the dreaded bleep test.

“We hope every player gets every pre-season training session under his belt because the work we do now is so important to carry you through the whole season,” McGlynn explained.

“So far, everyone we expected to train, has trained, and no-one has any injuries carried over from last season. So far so good.”

Rubber-stamped

McGlynn had hoped to bring in two players on loan from an SPL club in time for the pre-season training session, but the deals, while agreed in principle, have yet to be rubber-stamped.

“We’re no further forward yet but we are confident that the players will be joining us soon, although it won’t be this week,” McGlynn said.

SportsPress understands that one of the loan players due to arrive at Stark’s Park is a striker who has scored goals in the SPL.

Rovers found out last Friday that they will face Falkirk at home in the opening fixture of the new season on August 6.

“It’s a very big game to start with, and we also have Dundee at home early on as well,” McGlynn said.

“We will prepare ourselves as best we can to make sure we go into these massive games ready and raring to go.

“We hope to get out the blocks quickly and get a good start as we’ve managed to do in the last few seasons.”