Raith looking for an Easter Road hat-trick

Martin Scott is denied by Falkirk goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald on Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Martin Scott is denied by Falkirk goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald on Saturday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers will return to the scene of last season’s cup final triumph this Saturday hoping for another memorable victory.

Easter Road has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Kirkcaldy side this year with a 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Hibernian in February followed by the Ramdens Cup final win over Rangers in April.

Rovers manager Grant Murray has told his players to take confidence from those past results as they travel to Easter Road on league business for the first time since 1999.

“We went there twice last season and got fantastic results, and we should take something from that,” Murray said.

“It should give the players who were part of those games a lift, however, we will be facing a totally different Hibs team from the one we played in the Scottish Cup.

“They were on the downside of things last season but they’ve got a new manager, new players, and are full of confidence after their win at Ibrox.

“They’ve taken more time to adjust to the Championship than Rangers and Hearts have, but they will want to be up there challenging with them.

“It will be a difficult game but one we’re looking to take something from.”

Rovers go into the match on the back of two successive clean sheets but Murray insisted that the focus will be on winning the game.

“That’s always our approach,” he said. “However, we’ve got to get the balance right because we also don’t want to lose it.

“Keeping two clean sheets is a massive thing for us as it lets us build some confidence.

“It’s great for Ross Laidlaw, the back four and the whole team.

“A team that is capable of keeping clean sheets have a right good chance of winning games of football.

“On Saturday we’ll need to defend like we have in the last two games, but we’ve got to be a threat because we want to win the game.”

Rovers go into the match in third place, level on 13 points with second-placed Rangers - a pleasing start for Murray particulalrly considering the injury problems at the club.

“No-one wants to get injuries like the ones we’ve had,” he said.

“We’ve had our niggles that every squad gets that keep players out for a couple of games but we’ve also had three operations, which have been a major blow.

“Players have come and and staked a claim to stay in the team, which is what we want.

“We want a very competitive squad and guys taking their opportunity when it comes along.

“In my opinion injuries hampered us last season but we’re coping better this season and when we get our injured players back it will be like new signings.”

Ross Perry has returned to training and could feature in the squad on Saturday although Calum Elliot is again expected to miss out.

Dougie Hill, Craig Barr and Kevin Cuthbert remain sidelined following their recent operations.