Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn looking forward to Celtic cup clash

Raith Rovers reward for Saturday’s Scottish Cup win over Banks O’ Dee will see them return to Parkhead for the second time this season to take on Premiership side Celtic.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 9:00 am
Raith celebrate after Aidan Connolly scores the third goal against Banks O' Dee (Pic: Alan Murray)
Raith celebrate after Aidan Connolly scores the third goal against Banks O' Dee (Pic: Alan Murray)

The two sides met in the League Cup back in September with the Glasgow side winning 3-0 on their own turf but Raith boss John McGlynn, though bemoaning a third straight away tie in the competition, says he’s relishing another tilt at the Hoops over the weekend of February 12/13.

“For the football club to go to Parkhead twice in the same season is spectacular for us financially,” he said.

“We had a really good game with them there in the League Cup and we look forward to going back.

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“That said, the draw hasn’t been that kind to us all the way through.

“We were away at Falkirk first of all, away to Banks O’ Dee, now another away one.

“We’ve not had a home tie and I think a home draw against Celtic would have given us a better chance.

“When you go through there and there's 40 or 50 thousand behind them and they’re on that bigger pitch, that’s one or two thing going for them, but we need to be ready for that when it comes around.

“It’s certainly one to look forward to and we’ll go there and try to make it difficult for them a possible.

“Hopefully we will catch them on an off day and if we do everything right, our goalkeeper has a great game, we take a wee chance here and there, you never know.”

In the interim, Raith will try to get their faltering league form back up and running this week with a televised Friday night trip to Greenock to play Morton, a side they’ve beaten twice this season already.

The Stark’s Park boss says his side will take confidence from the cup win up in Aberdeen – his side’s first win in six games.

“Although we didn’t score the number of goals that we would have like to and maybe should have, we have to take belief from that performance," he says.

“I don’t think we have been doing too badly, we just haven’t been getting the breaks.

“We have to do a bit better in front of goal and kill teams off when we get the opportunities and, against Arbroath, we should have defended better.

“Morton are a team who are on a good run at the moment. They scored five against Dunfermline then they went to Somerset Park and beat Ayr United which isn’t easy.

“At the weekend there they made it hard for Motherwell and took them to extra time, so they are in good form and we need to be well up for it.

“They play a quite direct style of football so we’ll need to prepare for long balls, crosses into the box, long throws and all that side of the game.

“We have to handle that and make sure we’re playing our own game and make the defend.

“There’s not been too many changes to their team. They brought in the boy Jamie Brandon on loan from Hearts, but the rest of the team is very similar to what they had previously so we know what to prepare for.

“It’ll also be good to have the fans back in properly for a league match for the first time since the restrictions.

“We had a really good following up in Aberdeen at the weekend so it will be great to see them down there on Friday night.

“They’ll create a good atmosphere and with us winning at the weekend in the Scottish Cup I think that’s create a wee bit of excitement too.

“We want to get our league campaign going again. It’s a big weekend for us. If you look at the fixtures the other four teams in the top half are virtually playing each other.

“We won at Cappielow earlier in the season so we know we can do it and we want to do it again.”

He added: “If we go on and win on Friday which is our aim, then come Saturday at 5 o’clock the league table could be very interesting.”