Depleted Raith Rovers will give everything at Falkirk

Raith Rovers celebrate Ross Matthews winner against Airdrie last Saturday, but the midfielder is one of six players missing for the trip to Falkirk - credit- Fife Photo Agency
Raith Rovers celebrate Ross Matthews winner against Airdrie last Saturday, but the midfielder is one of six players missing for the trip to Falkirk - credit- Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn says his depleted table-toppers will give everything for the cause at Falkirk this Saturday.

Rovers travel to their promotion rivals without six of their regular starters after adding a double suspension blow to their injury problems.

Both Iain Davidson and Ross Matthews were red carded in the 1-0 win over Airdrie and will miss the match along with Regan Hendry, Michael Miller, Steven Anderson and Lewis Vaughan.

Davidson has been suspended for four games, meaning he will not be available again until the trip to Forfar on January 11, while Matthews is banned for two matches.

“We have a lot of problems, so we need to wrap everyone who is available in cotton wool from now until Saturday,” McGlynn said. “We’ll have a team on the park, we have numbers, but when you lose so many players in one position at one time, that’s when it becomes a problem.

“We find ourselves down to four defenders, and in central midfield, it’s just Brad Spencer and young Dylan Tait.

“The good thing is Dylan has had a couple of games recently and acquitted himself really well, and the fact he didn’t play at the weekend will keep him fresh.

“We’ll weigh things up as the week goes along, but you can see from the attitude of the players, their commitment and effort, that whatever 11 and subs we put out on Saturday will give every ounce of effort.”

Despite their selection problems Rovers can go into the match with confidence after winning three of their last four games one-nil.

“It gives us reassurance that I know the players are going to go out and give everything they’ve got, and that goes an awful long way,” McGlynn added. “We can’t deny that we’ll have a strong bench sitting in the stand, and we would much prefer to have them, but we’ll just need to get on with it.

“It’s not ideal to go to what, on paper, would be the toughest game of the season, away to the hot favourites for the league, being so depleted.

“But football is 11 versus 11, and it’s up to us to roll the sleeves up, work together and try to come out of there with some sort of result.

“When you have situations like this it’s very much about people coming in and showing what they can do and grabbing the opportunity.”  

Raith’s depleted squad will place added pressure on a Falkirk side under the caretaker management of Lee Miller and Dave McCracken, and looking to close a four-point gap to the Kirkcaldy side after their goalless draw at East Fife.

“Falkirk have got a lot of good players, but they’ve found it tough in this league, and they’ve had to change managers,” McGlynn said.

“Lee and Dave are trying to put their stamp on things, they’ve changed the shape a bit, and they’ve probably just had their first negative result.

“Whether or not that will change their plans, who knows, but they’ve dropped points at home already this season.

“The big home crowd can be an advantage but it can also be a disadvantage if it’s not going their way, and they turn on them. It’s up to us to try and influence that as well.”