Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn will not be rushing into the loan market despite a mounting injury list.
The Kirkcaldy side could only muster 14 players for the trip to Dingwall on Tuesday night, where the team scraped a 3-2 win over Ross County Colts in the Challenge Cup.
Two of the goalscorers from Saturday’s 5-2 win over Clyde, Kieron Bowie and Joao Victoria, missed the tie through ankle and knee injuries respectively, while defender Fernandy Mendy also sat out for the third game in succession as he continues his recovery from concussion.
With Tony Dingwall and Lewis Vaughan not due back until mid-September, and a few others nursing knocks and strains, McGlynn has limited options for the trip to Stranraer on Saturday.
Speaking at full-time on Tuesday, the Raith boss told the Press: “We’ve got injuries and even the guys on the bench weren’t 100 per cent.
“We had to put them on because the younger ones (Jack Smith and Dylan Tait) had run out of steam.
“They missed a bit of pre-season and you can see they are catching up because they were running on empty in the second half.
“It was a game we could have done without, and with the injuries and playing guys slightly out of position, it was always going to be difficult.
“The league is the priority but we’re pleased we got through the tie.”
When asked if the budget – which has already been spent – could be expanded to accommodate loan signings, McGlynn added: “I wouldn’t suggest it’s out of the question, but I don’t think we necessarily want a quick fix, to bring in a player from now until December, when the injuries we’ve got are not long term.
“If Bowie misses Stranraer then we’re hoping he’ll be available for the following weekend. Victoria is harder to put a timescale on, but he’ll certainly be out on Saturday.
“There isn’t any point just bringing people in for the sake of playing in one or two games.”
By the time Rovers’ travel-weary players return from Stair Park on Saturday they will have racked up 1300 miles on the team bus in the opening month of the season.
“The amount of travelling we’ve done, and still got to do on Saturday, is incredible in such a short period of time,” McGlynn added.
“You can’t say it doesn’t have an affect. Sitting on a bus for hours - it’s not ideal - and you’ve got to feel sorry for our fans.
“I’m not sure how we get put into this regionalised situation of being a team down on the east coast, who has to travel up to these places.
“Already our travelling fans have gone to Inverness, Aberdeen, Dingwall and now to Stranraer and you can’t thank them enough for doing that.
“They’re having to fork out a lot of travelling expenses, and there’s a lot of time involved as well. Even some of our part-time players are having to take time off their work.
“It’s a big commitment for the fans and we thank them very much.”
Despite the injury and travel concerns, Rovers can approach the Stranraer match in positive mood having won three matches in a row.
“Two of these have been away from home, and that’s very positive because we didn’t win enough away games last season,” McGlynn added.
“Saturday will be another test for us so we’ll be delighted if we can come away with the three points.”