Raith Rovers boss predicts "an amazing atmosphere" in Aberdeen cup clash
John McGlynn wants to travel further in this season’s Premier Sports Cup competition but he knows his Raith Rovers side will have to muster all their strength to do so.
However, the Stark’s Park gaffer is pleased with the build-up and the approach to the game against Aberdeen by his players and he is looking forward fervently to this Sunday’s noon kick-off at Kirkcaldy in the last 16.
McGlynn believes Stephen Glass’ side are the on-form team in the Premiership just now, with recent good results on the domestic front and in Europe, and they were playing an interesting and attractive brand of football .
They also had a very vocal and enthusiastic travelling support which gave them excellent backing – but McGlynn hoped a big crowd at Stark’s Park might quieten them down a notch if Rovers were able to exert some pressure.
McGlynn said it would be a great occasion and an “amazing atmosphere”.
He added: “We are delighted to get through the group stages and looking to do well. To get to this stage is great and I would like to go further but it will take an enormous effort from us and an enormous performance.
"Personally, I feel Aberdeen are probably the most in-form team in Scotland. But we can take inspiration from 11 versus 11.
"Aberdeen have been outstanding. The football they are playing just now is very exciting and their fans are enjoying it. But we are paying a very similar style to them – it could be an open game, which could mean a few goals. It could be a great game.”
It remained to be seen if the number of games the Dons had played recently might take its toll on them, while Rovers had tested themselves already this summer against Premiership opposition in the form of Livingston and Hibs
The Pittodrie side had a very strong squad – they defeated Livingston last weekend even after making six changes – and Raith knew they would bring a formidable line-up to the Lang Toun.
“We have to rise to the challenge,” said McGlynn. “They are going to come here with a strong squad, so we will be ready for them.”
The players were understandably looking forward to the game too, although they knew a massive challenge lay ahead, said McGlynn. Training had been good and positive, so there was a good feeling in the camp, while losing at Inverness last Saturday had not got them down.
In addition to the news that striker Lewis Vaughan would be out for approximately six weeks with a knee injury, McGlynn also revealed defender Frankie Musonda could be sidelined for a further four to six weeks, also with knee problems.
Every club had to cope with the burden of injuries, said McGlynn, so it was heartening to have Ross Matthews back, while Tom Lang’s reappearance also gave Rovers options in central defence.
Looking at approximate timescales, added the boss, Raith might have Musonda, Vaughan and Brad Spencer back around roughly the same time, which would give them a really strong squad with which to continue through the season.