Euan Murray: Promotion with Raith Rovers would make this a special season

Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers defender Euan Murray hopes winning promotion through the play-offs can turn a disappointing season into a memorable one.

Rovers fell below expectations in the league campaign after dropped points in 20 games led to a third place finish in League One behind champions Arbroath and runners-up Forfar Athletic.

However, after turning that around by overcoming Forfar in the play-off semi-final, Raith are now just two games from a possible return to the Championship, with the first leg of their play-off final against Queen of the South taking place at Stark's Park tonight followed by the return in Dumfries on Saturday.

Murray said: "It would be by far the best achievement I've had in my career if I could get the club back to the Championship.

"Last year was devastating on the last game of the season so I would probably appreciate it that wee bit more if we can do it this time.

"The way things have gone this season to get up would be so special, and for the fans, and the coaching staff, who have been brilliant from the day they came in.

"There's pressure on us to go up after the season we've had, but Queens are the team that will feel as if they need to win because there's so much riding on relegation.

"We probably go in as underdogs, and we're happy with that, but we've still got the pressure of trying to go up.

"But for us it's a positive thing and something we can go and achieve, and say we didn't have the best of seasons but we still went and did it when it mattered."

Murray believes the team's hard-fought semi-final win over Forfar shows the players have the mental strength to achieve promotion.

"That winning mentality - that's what you need," he said.

"It's something we've lacked at times but it's grown and grown over the season.

"On Saturday we showed we're really behind each other, standing up for each other all over the park.

"Forfar have a lot of experienced players and boys who have that will to win, but on Saturday we matched that and went beyond.

"We wanted it even more than them and that's how we came away with two good results.

"There were tackles flying in but I don't think you would expect anything less considering what was at stake.

"We matched that physicality which we've sometimes lacked going away from home.

"It's something we're really positive about and we'll need that again in what's going to be two really tough games."

Murray is relishing the prospect of facing Scottish football's top scorer, Stephen Dobbie, who took his tally to 43 for the season with a hat-trick in the play-off semi-final win over Montrose.

"They've got some good players outwith him, but he's the main man," Murray said.

"He's a massive threat, and someone we're going to have to stop, but that's just part of the game and we need to do it as best we can.

"I feel we were very solid over the two games against Baird and Hilson and limited two very good strikers to as little chances as we could.

"We'll have to be on guard with a player of Dobbie's ability, but Saturday proved we can do that."