Rovers target a Rangers double

Raith manager Grant Murray has praised Ross Callachan, pictured in action against Falkirk on Saturday, after the midfielder scored his first senior goal  to rescue a 2-2 draw. Pic: Steve Gunn
Raith manager Grant Murray has praised Ross Callachan, pictured in action against Falkirk on Saturday, after the midfielder scored his first senior goal to rescue a 2-2 draw. Pic: Steve Gunn
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Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray has stressed that the recent Scottish Cup win at Ibrox will have no bearing on Friday night’s league match at Stark’s Park.

Rovers will look to do the double on Rangers after humbling them on their own turf a fortnight ago, but Murray is still haunted by the two league hammerings his team suffered at the hands of the Glasgow giants this season.

“The cup win was great for us but it will have no bearing whatsoever on Friday,” he told the Press. “People will look at the cup game but we know how good Rangers can be on their day.

“We experienced them at their best in our two league matches this season and we found it hard on both occasions. We just have to make sure that the minimum we give is what got us that result at Ibrox.”

While Raith are unbeaten in seven, Rangers visit Kirkcaldy on the back of three consecutive defeats and another week of chaos behind the scenes, but Murray insists they must still command respect.

“Yes, they’ve got their problems off the field, but that’s irrelevant to a player,” Murray said. “When they go out on pitch that’s the one place they can switch off from it.

“We’ll treat them the same as we’ve treated them in any other game.

“We respect them as a team, and where they’re sitting in the league at the moment. Their players will be hurting and will want to make amends for us putting them out the cup at Ibrox.

“But we also want to make amends for our two league games against them.

“It’s a chance for us to get back to winning ways but it will take everything you need to beat teams of the calibre of Rangers.”

A crowd of around 5000 is expected for Friday night’s live BT Sport clash, which kicks-off at 7.45 p.m.

Cash turnstiles will be in operation at the home end only, and fans have been advised to arrive 30 minutes prior to kick-off to prevent long queues.

Last Saturday, it took a 93rd minute equaliser from Ross Callachan - his first senior goal - to preserve Raith’s unbeaten record against Falkirk and Murray praised the 21-year-old for his recent performances.

“That’s probably the least he deserved on Saturday,” Murray said. “He’s slotted well into the team, and he doesn’t look out of place. He’s a worker - he wants to to do well and has got himself as fit as he can.

“Credit has to go to him - he’s keeping good experienced players out the team.

“He was getting a wee bit frustrated at a point in the season and he was close to going out on loan, but credit to him, he stuck at it, got his chance and he’s stayed in the team ever since.”

Murray confirmed that Calum Elliot faces another four weeks on the sidelines while Ross Laidlaw has had his loan at Elgin City extended by a further 93 days.

Meanwhile, Rovers are offering fans the chance to travel to the upcoming Scottish Cup quarter-final in Inverness for a tenner.

The club has struck a deal with official team bus provider, Ratho Coaches, that means fans can travel to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday, March 7 for just £10 per seat.

Eric Drysdale, Raith chief executive, explained: “We’re very keen to build relationships with our supporters.

“In that regard, the subsidsed coach travel was something we thought of as soon as the draw was made.

“We do hope there will be good uptake of the offer. We’re capable of taking over 500 supporters up to Inverness, and that can only help when it comes to the team’s performance.”

For details on how to book a seat, visit www.raithrovers.net.