Raith Rovers: Boss Ian Murray admits tonight's Viaplay Cup game at Kilmarnock is 'must win' if his side is to progress from group
Raith go into the tie at Derek McInnes’ Premiership outfit sitting third in the section with four points from two games, currently behind leaders Dunfermline Athletic (who have finished with eight points from their four fixtures) and second-placed Killie (six points from two ties). So a win is a necessity for the Kirkcaldy outfit in East Ayrshire tonight.
"We'll need to go there and either win in 90 minutes or win on penalties to have a realistic chance of going through," Murray told the Fife Free Press.
"Very, very occasionally eight points will get you through but you tend to need nine plus.
"We'll go down there and try and win. It's going to be, regardless of the scoreline, a good marker against a really solid premier league team.
"It's an opportunity for us to see where we are exactly.
"So if we win it we give ourselves a real fighting chance for the last game.
"If we lose it then we're probably not going to progress."
Murray’s side will end the league cup section at Annan Athletic this Saturday before beginning their Championship campaign at Partick Thistle a week later.
“I think the Championship will be more cut-throat this year,” Murray told the Fife Free Press.
"You look at the league and it’s really strong, really tough for everybody.
"And that will probably be reflected in the games in the league.
"It was very competitive last season like it always is.
"Adding Dunfermline in makes life harder for us. To lose a part-time team (Cove Rangers, who were relegated from the Championship as a part-time club last season but have since gone full-time) which is replaced by a full-time team (Dunfermline), there’s no doubt the league is going to be tougher.”
Murray, who said he was delighted to have signed defender Euan Murray, also gave an update on his six injured players.
He added: "Ross Millen, Scott Brown and Ross Matthews in the group are probably the ones closest to returning. We're still maybe waiting on Ethan Ross and Aidan Connolly a little bit but Jack Hamilton will be back."