Raith can cope with striker shortage, says Murray

Grant Murray gives the orders during Raith's 2-1 defeat to Rangers last Friday. Pic: George McLuskie
Grant Murray gives the orders during Raith's 2-1 defeat to Rangers last Friday. Pic: George McLuskie
  • Raith striker shortage for Livi trip
  • Manager confident squad can cope
  • Scottish Cup will not be distraction
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Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray is confident his side can cope with a striker shortage for Saturday’s trip to Livingston.

Christian Nade will sit out a one match ban for accumulating six bookings, with Calum Elliot remains sidelined by injury.

That leaves Mark Stewart and youngster Lewis Vaughan as the only recognised first team strikers, although midfielder Martin Scott has also been used in attack this season.

Vaughan, however, has not started a match since August, and only made his first appearance since November as a 90th minute sub against Rangers last Friday.

After Dale Carrick returned to Hearts due to injury, Murray had suggested he might return to the loan market to bolster his attacking options if the right player became available, but this has not yet materialised.

“It just means we’ve got to use the squad and look at different options,” Murray said.

We’ve still got players capable of going in and winning the game of football

Grant Murray

“We’ve still got players capable of going in and winning the game of football.

“We’re only missing one player from last Friday’s squad - and we had seven subs on the bench that night.

“We’ve got two players missing through injury and suspension and we’ll adapt to it.”

Rovers travel to bottom of the table Livingston on Saturday on the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Rangers that ended their seven-game unbeaten run.

Murray plans to use Rovers’ previous meeting with the Lions - a 5-1 home humbling on December 6 - as motivation.

“The previous game against them was a disappointing day for the whole club and we’ll be looking to make amends,” he said.

“We can use it as motivation, but that won’t win us the game.

“We need to make sure we perform in the manner that took us on an unbeaten run.”

Murray insisted that his players will not be distracted by next Saturday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final in Inverness.

“That game will take care of itself and the build-up next week will be great for the players,” he said.

“But one thing is for sure, the players will be totally focused on this Saturday’s game.

“We’ve stressed to the players how difficult games against teams at the bottom can be.

“We don’t want to lose any more ground on the teams above us.”