Injury-hit Raith Rovers deserve ‘enormous credit’ for six-game unbeaten run

Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'Raith v Glenavon - ARMSTRONG acknowledges the Raith fans after scoring -'credit- Fife Photo Agency
Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'Raith v Glenavon - ARMSTRONG acknowledges the Raith fans after scoring -'credit- Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn says his players deserve ‘enormous credit’ for embarking on a six-game unbeaten run in the midst of an injury crisis.

Rovers will be without seven players for the trip to Clyde on Saturday, with potentially an eighth, Dan Armstrong, rated touch and go due to a thigh strain.

Grant Anderson became the latest to join the absentee list when he was hospitalised following a heavy impact to his shoulder in the Challenge Cup win over Glenavon on Saturday.

X-rays revealed no long-term damage, but the 33-year-old forward is still facing up to three weeks out, joining Robbie Thomson, Kyle Benedictus, Ross Matthews, Lewis Vaughan, Joao Victoria and Jack Smith on the sidelines.

“It’s an ongoing challenge,” McGlynn told the Press.

“From a training point of view, I can’t remember the last time we trained with a proper number.

“You get on with things - of course you do - but I can’t wait to have a full training session.

“It would just be brilliant to have everyone available and we could see what this squad is all about.

“We’re getting on, and doing well, but how much stronger could we be if we get the whole lot together?

“We know we’re not going to have that at any point this season because Lewis won’t be available.

“We just hope we can get everyone else back, which would make us extremely strong.

“It’s just a matter of getting on with it, and that’s where we’ve got to give the players enormous credit because they are getting on with it, and picking up some really good results.

“I’m not sure how many other teams in this league could handle having that many players out and keep on course.

“Confidence is building, momentum is building, and that’s what we want to try and keep going.”

Rovers will welcome Jamie Gullan back into the squad for the trip to Broadwood after the on-loan Hibs forward was cup tied at the weekend.

The Kirkcaldy side will be looking for a third successive away win having already beaten Danny Lennon’s side 5-2 at Stark’s Park earlier in the season.

“Our away form is good now so we’ve no fears going there, but we appreciate we’ll need to be at our best,” McGlynn said.

Rovers will need to particularly guard against League One’s top scorer, David Goodwillie, who has averaged a goal every 62 minutes so far this season.

The match signals the start of the second quarter of the season and having finished the first quarter at the top of the standings, McGlynn is keen to kick-on.

“We’re in a great situation and we have to hope we don’t pick up any more injuries, we get players back and we get stronger as this next quarter evolves,” McGlynn said.

“We’re starting this quarter away from home so after Saturday the next eight games will be five home and three away, which gives us a great opportunity to pick up a number of points in this quarter.

“We always take it one game at time, but the only comparison we can take is Arbroath from last season, and they did exceptionally well in this quarter and put a good bit of daylight between themselves and the rest.

“That’s what we’d like to do, but we respect every opposition, and that will be the same on Saturday.

“We’ll show them respect but we’ll look to win the football match and move on.”

The draw for the Challenge Cup quarter-finals was made yesterday (Wednesday) with Rovers handed a home tie against League Two side Elgin City.

It is a fifth successive away draw for the Black and Whites who have already defeated Hibernian colts, Brechin City, Dundee and Airdrieonians so far.

The ties are scheduled to be played on the weekend of November 16/17.

The other ties are: Caley Thistle v Clyde, Solihull Moors/Rangers Colts v Wrexham, Stenhousemuir v Partick Thistle.