Raith Rovers: Delighted boss Ian Murray praises his injury-ravaged side for beating Championship leaders Queen's Park to reach SPFL Trophy semi-finals

John Frederiksen celebrates scoring winner (Pics Craig Foy/SNS Group)John Frederiksen celebrates scoring winner (Pics Craig Foy/SNS Group)
John Frederiksen celebrates scoring winner (Pics Craig Foy/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray has outlined his delight that his injury-ravaged side battled into the SPFL Trust Trophy semi-finals with a 1-0 victory at Queen's Park on Wednesday night thanks to Faroe Islands striker John Frederiksen’s left-footed strike from 12 yards on 80 minutes.

The 6ft 6' forward's first goal in 10 games for the Kirkcaldy side ended their Championship rivals' eight-game winning run and clinched a semi-final berth at either Dundee or Dunfermline - who play their delayed quarter-final on Tuesday - in the semi-finals on February 7 or 8.

"It was a very difficult game for both sides because of the conditions tonight," gaffer Murray told Raith TV after the win at Ochilview Park in Stenhousemuir. "Also a quick turnaround for both teams as well.

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"Busy period it's been over Christmas so full credit to both sets of players.

Raith keeper Andy McNeil makes great saveRaith keeper Andy McNeil makes great save
Raith keeper Andy McNeil makes great save

"The character that we showed in the game was tremendous. When you work that hard, you stick to your game plan and you realise you are in a real battle and you play like that, you're hard to beat.

"That was what we tried to be first and foremost, hard to beat. We knew we would get opportunities in the game if we kept plugging away, which we did towards the end and John takes his goal very well.

"John has had to wait for his time. I needed more from John in training, it was as simple as that.

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"We had a chat about it at the end of December, over the Christmas period. We had to tell him that we needed more, we wanted more, we believed tonight that he had more and he showed that tonight with his finish which was a really, really good finish.

Ian Murray in Ochilview rainIan Murray in Ochilview rain
Ian Murray in Ochilview rain

"If John can keep that level up, keeping working hard and being patiant then he's going to be an asset.

"I'm delighted for the players, delighted for the football club to be in the semi-final and we just try and keep going."

Murray, who praised young trio Kieran Mitchell, Adam Masson and goalkeeper Andy McNeil for "doing fantastically well" against Queen's Park, outlined the extent of an injury crisis which meant he was only able to list three substitutes.

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"It was difficult because we had a few players pull out on Tuesday at training," gaffer Murray told Raith TV.

Raith's Tom Lang and Liam Dick applaud fansRaith's Tom Lang and Liam Dick applaud fans
Raith's Tom Lang and Liam Dick applaud fans

"We knew they were struggling a bit with fatigue and a couple of knocks that we had to watch.

"In an ideal world we would maybe have rested another four or five players but we don't have that luxury at the moment.

"And that's football and that's why we don't get too wrapped up in it. We certainly don't get downbeat about it or frustrated because I've been in these situations before, especially during Covid.

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"Sometimes when you go with what you've got and you're in that wee bit of adversity it builds tremendous character and team spirit.

"If people had seen the changing room after the game they would have seen a heck of a team spirit.

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