Winner takes all at Stark’s Park on Saturday

New signing Declan McManus in action during his Raith debut at Dingwall. Pic: Brian Smith
New signing Declan McManus in action during his Raith debut at Dingwall. Pic: Brian Smith

Raith Rovers can fire themselves into the last 16 of the Betfred Cup with victory over League One side Alloa Athletic at Stark’s Park on Saturday.

However, boss Gary Locke has warned that will be easier said than done against a Wasps side who lead the group, having knocked out holders Ross County in midweek with a 3-2 win.

Raith claimed their own impressive result against the Premiership outfit last weekend, securing a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win after a 1-1 draw in Dingwall.

Raith can leapfrog Alloa and win the group with a victory within 90 minutes on Saturday, however, a victory via penalty shoot-out will be enough to see the Kirkcaldy side progress as one of the four best runners-ups to qualify for the latter stages.

A defeat in 90 minutes or on penalties would leave Raith relying on results elsewhere.

“Billy Brown has watched Alloa a few times and the reports are that they are a really good side,” Locke told the Press. “We’re certainly not going to count our chickens.

“If we show the same attitude and commitment as we did Saturday we’re confident we can get a result, but we’re coming up against a really good team.”

Locke was delighted with the display in Dingwall last weekend – and he wants his players to keep the bar high with the opening league game in Ayr just over a week away.

“The boys did great – probably the best we’ve played so far,” he said.

“For me, the players have set a standard now and it’s important they maintain that.”

County boss Jim McIntyre tipped Rovers for a promotion push after the match, but Locke stressed that nobody at Stark’s Park is getting carried away.

“Macca’s only watched us once – but we know we’ve got a long, long way to go,” he said.

“It’s a long season and it’s going to be a really difficult league this year with the teams that are in it.

“One result is not going to make us a world class team.

“We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing and if we work as hard as we did, and play the football we did, hopefully we can do well.”

Raith are hopeful of handing Rudi Skacel his debut on Saturday but the club are still awaiting the arrival of international clearance.

Complications have arisen due to Skacel being registered with both Czech and Polish football associations last season, but the club are confident the matter can be resolved soon.

Meanwhile, Raith have completed the signing of 18-year-old attacking midfielder Andreas Thorsen on a one year deal.

The Dane, who featured as a trialist in pre-season friendlies, is expected to feature in the development side.