Raith look for elusive derby win at home

Two cup-winning Raith managers - Grant Murray and Jimmy Nicholl - on stage at the Hall of Fame night in the Adam Smith Theatre. They will go head-to-head at Stark's Park this Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Two cup-winning Raith managers - Grant Murray and Jimmy Nicholl - on stage at the Hall of Fame night in the Adam Smith Theatre. They will go head-to-head at Stark's Park this Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
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Grant Murray will look for his first Fife derby win on home soil this Saturday.

Murray has yet to taste a home win over a local rival as Raith Rovers manager despite six attempts since taking charge in 2012.

This Saturday’s visitors, Cowdenbeath, have claimed two victories and two draws on their previous four visits to Kirkcaldy.

But after six games without a league win, and just three league wins at Stark’s Park in the whole of 2014, Murray’s only concern is collecting three points.

“I don’t think we’ll go into the game looking to get any monkey off our back,” said the Raith boss.

“We just want three points at home, and we can take a bit of belief from our last performance against them at Central Park.

“We scored three goals that day and although we lost a late one, it was a well deserved victory.

“Cowdenbeath will come here wanting to make amends for that so we have to make sure we’re totally focused and at our best.”

Murray is looking for his players to maintain the level of performance shown at Tynecastle last Saturday.

“Every team that’s gone there has lost four or five goals but we felt we done enough to take something from it,” he said.

“In the end we’ve lost but it was encouraging for me and the players to see that level of performance.

“If we perform like that every week I’m confident we’ll win more than we’ll lose.”

Defender Craig Barr returned to training this week following recent knee surgery but is not yet considered ready for first team action.

With Christian Nade, Dougie Hill and Calum Elliot also back from lengthy spells on the sidelines, Murray is pleased to have more options at his disposal.

“My job is to select players that are fit - simple as that,” he said.

“Any manager will say the same thing - the amount of players we’ve had missing does have an affect.

“The guys we’ve been missing are key players to any squad - not just ours.

“It’s great to be getting them back one by one.”

Murray was a guest of honour at the Raith Hall of Fame evening on Monday and took to the stage at the Adam Smith Theatre with the man he will face this Saturday - current Cowdenbeath boss Jimmy Nicholl - as the Coca-Cola Cup winning side of 1994 were inducted.

Part of the night was also dedicated to Murray’s Ramsdens Cup heroes from April.

“It was a great night,” Murray said. “That was the third one now and it just looks to be getting bigger and better every year.

“Those who were entered into the Hall of Fame totally deserve that accolade.

“It just makes you realise the importance of winning a cup at a club like ourselves.”