John Rankin: Murray the man for Raith, says Accies boss ahead of cup final

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Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin says he is not surprised to see Raith Rovers beginning to flourish under Ian Murray ahead of this weekend’s SPFL Trust Trophy final between the two sides.

That match takes place at the Falkirk Stadium on Sunday, with kick-off at 4.15pm, as Raith look to retain the trophy against their Championship rivals, currently bottom of the table.

“I’m not surprised,” ex-Dundee United and Hibs midfielder Rankin said of how Murray has excelled so far in the Stark’s Park hot-seat. “I watched Airdrie a lot last season, an Ian Murray team, and they played free-flowing football with lots of good players and that’s why he took Dylan Easton with him.

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“I also saw Scott Brown for Peterhead and he has taken players from League 1 who can influence the championship. Ian’s teams always play good football, are competitive and exciting and expansive.

Hamilton Accies manager John Rankin (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)Hamilton Accies manager John Rankin (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)
Hamilton Accies manager John Rankin (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)

“We have played them three times this season.

“I watched them at Ibrox and you don’t learn a lot from teams playing Rangers or Celtic but I learned that day Raith can do the dirty side of the game as well. They tracked their men, made challenges and did the hard stuff.”

Accies manager Rankin believes a cup victory would boost his side's second-tier survival hopes.

He said: “100% it can galvanise our league campaign.

“To win a trophy, then the togetherness and spirit that comes along with that helps enormously.

“We have to concentrate on the game ahead of us but it’s a huge league campaign as well and if we are not successful, then we’ve been able to pick ourselves up before.”

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