Room for one more at Raith, but boss is happy to wait

Ray McKinnon has been happy with Raith Rovers' pre-season progress - Credit -  Fife Photo Agency -
Ray McKinnon has been happy with Raith Rovers' pre-season progress - Credit - Fife Photo Agency -

Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon is hoping to add one more new signing to his squad - but is keeping his options open.

The Raith boss is prepared to run the rule over some trialists, but stressed he is in no rush to spend what little cash he has left at his disposal.

““We’re actively looking but it has to come within a budget,” he said.

“We’ll try and do our due diligence and see if we can add a nice player to the squad.

“We’ve probably got room for one more but we’re just sitting and waiting.

“We’ve got a couple of trialists coming in on Friday so we’ll have a look at them.”

Rovers’ tough pre-season schedule continues this Saturday with a trip to Methil to face local rivals East Fife.

Rovers have played three home friendlies thus far, losing 2-0 to both Hearts and Aberdeen, before going down 2-1 to Dundee on Wednesday night.

The Championship side impressed in spells against their Premiership opponents, and McKinnon is hoping the team will benefit from the testing run of games in the upcoming fixtures.

“It’s been a tough three games in a week for us - there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“Over the three games I’m really delighted, but we’ll see how game the goes on Saturday.

“I might give some boys a rest because a lot of them are carrying niggles.

“They’ve had to work really hard off the ball and been a bit leggy when we’ve got the ball.

“It showed in the first half on Wednesday, especially the three midfielders, who gave it away cheaply.

“I think that was down to the amount of chasing we had to do against a really good Dundee side.

“We had a real chat at half-time and the boys responded really well in the second half - there was lots of positives.

“Hopefully we’re now up to speed and we’ll see a really good, strong, positive Raith side in the upcoming games.”

Jason Thomson has worn the armband in the three friendlies thus far but the manager insisted that no final decision has yet been made on who this season’s captain will be.

“I’m just monitoring all the players,” McKinnon said.

“There are candidates but Jason is the captain at this moment in time, and he’s done well.

“There’ll be nothing decided at this minute.”

McKinnon also insisted that no decision has been made with regards his first choice goalkeeper with Kevin Cuthbert and David McGurn both featuring thus far.

“Kevin has been training excellently,” he said. “He’s been in every day and has been working hard.

“Some of his shot-stopping against Aberdeen on Sunday was fantastic. He’s a very good goalkeeper and I’ve been really pleased with him.

“Davie hasn’t trained a lot, so we’ll need to see how he is. I still have to take a look at Ross Laidlaw as well.

“It’s a good headache to have but up til now Kevin has done excellently.”

One of the most pleasing factors to come out of the three friendlies so far, McKinnon explained, is the partnership developing between centre-halves Lewis Toshney and Kyle Benedictus, who also played together previously at Dundee.

“They’ve been outstanding - the two of them,” he said. “They are the best value signings we’ve made.”

On-loan striker Craig Wighton suffered a twisted ankle against Aberdeen on Sunday, and was left out of the squad to face Dundee at the request of his parent club, but he will not be fit to face East Fife.

“Craig has rolled his ankle and it’s swollen, so he’s probably another week away,” McKinnon said.

Raith’s final warm-up match takes place on Tuesday when a Celtic XI visit Stark’s Park for the official naming of the Turnbull Hutton Stand.