Raith Rovers: After parent club Aberdeen's sensational loss to Darvel, Raith defender Kieran Ngwenya out to oust Premiership Motherwell

After watching on in astonishment as his parent club Aberdeen were knocked out 1-0 by non-league minnows Darvel in round four of the Scottish Cup, Raith Rovers loan defender Kieran Ngwenya is optimistic the Scottish Championship side can oust Premiership Motherwell in this Saturday’s home fifth-round tie.
Kieran Ngwenya tackles Dundee's Lorent Tolaj during Raith's dramatic SPFL Trust semi-final success at Dens Park on Wednesday night (Pic by Ross Parker/SNS Group)Kieran Ngwenya tackles Dundee's Lorent Tolaj during Raith's dramatic SPFL Trust semi-final success at Dens Park on Wednesday night (Pic by Ross Parker/SNS Group)
Kieran Ngwenya tackles Dundee's Lorent Tolaj during Raith's dramatic SPFL Trust semi-final success at Dens Park on Wednesday night (Pic by Ross Parker/SNS Group)

When asked about the Dons’ shock exit to the sixth tier Ayrshire side – which contributed towards the sacking of Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin five days later -Ngwenya, 20, told the Fife Free Press: "I was as shocked as everyone else I think. “Aberdeen should be beating a team like that easily.

"Darvel did well to be fair to them. We had a few chances in the second half which we missed which we could have put away.

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"Although the game should have been out of sight we can’t really make too many excuses. They put up a good fight and sometimes it’s not your day.

"It’s always sad to see a manager go, especially when you’ve worked with him. I wish him all the best in the future and hopefully Aberdeen can kick on from here.”

On the prospect of Raith – who are 11 games unbeaten in league and cup and won 4-3 on penalties at Dundee following a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night’s SPFL Trust Trophy semi-final – taking on a struggling Motherwell side who have won only one of their last 15 league games, Ngwenya added: “I think you’ve always got to be confident going into a game. There’s no point going into a game if you don’t believe you can win.

"We’ll always go out thinking we’ve got a chance and we’ll give all we’ve got on the pitch to get the outcome that we feel we deserve.

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"I think Motherwell are there for the taking and hopefully we can capitalise on it.

"It’s a good time to play them when we’re on a run of good form so hopefully we can continue that again.”

Ngwenya is back in the Rovers squad following a recent spell out injured after he had to leave the field during the 1-0 win at Hamilton Accies on January 2.

"I think the ground was quite hard that day, my studs just got caught in the astro and I jarred my knee a bit,” Ngwenya said.

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"I got a scan and it didn’t seem to be as bad as first thought which was good news.

"Before I got injured I had a good spell in the team and I hope just to get back to my best once I get a chance."

Ngwenya also has one taste of senior international football, having played for his dad’s native Malawi – whom he chose instead of his mum’s native Trinidad and Tobago – in a 2-0 away friendly defeat against Tanzania in June 2021.

The Glasgow-born ace added: “It was probably one of the best experiences of my life being over there, being involved with the team and getting to represent my country, doing something I love doing.

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"I did well in the game. It was during the off season so it was a bit of an extra pre-season for me as well and it gave me extra fitness.

"I think the standard of African football is getting better all the time. A lot more players and playing outside of African countries, with boys moving to Europe and abroad to play which I think lifts the standard up because they are bringing these experiences back.”