Raith Rovers need to be at their best to win Fife derby - Dave McKay
Raith Rovers defender Dave McKay says the team will approach the Fife derby with confidence despite last weekend’s defeat to Dumbarton.
Rovers travel to Bayview for Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated top of the table clash as league leaders, narrowly ahead of second-placed East Fife on goal difference.
The defeat to the Sons was only Rovers second loss in 17 games – their first in the league at Stark’s Park since April – and McKay says it will not affect the players mentality heading to Methil.
“We’re going to go there with confidence,” he said.
“We are still top of the league for a reason and as long as we play to our best, we will win that game.
“The boys were all disappointed to lose on Saturday but the league is so tight.
“We’re much better off than we were last season so we just need to push on from here.”
McKay spent most of the opening quarter of the season on the bench, but with injuries giving him his chance, he has featured heavily in recent weeks in a number of positions.
“I did have to wait a wee bit, then I came in at wing-back for a spell, then a few games at right back and then back into the centre the last few games,” he said.
“I do prefer it in the centre – that’s where I want to play – but I don’t mind right back either because I like to use my pace to get forward and try to deliver balls in.
“You’ve got to adjust, but I have got pace so I try to get up and down the park.”
Aged 21, McKay remains one of the younger members of the squad but he had to take on a more senior role on Saturday as the only member of the back four playing in his natural position.
“It was a makeshift back four so we were working on stuff in training to try and get used to it, but nothing replicates a game,” he said.
“Obviously you need to try and keep the boys right next to you, but everyone knows what they’re doing.
“It does help when you’ve got boys like Bene and Steven Anderson on the park, and Ando has taken me under his wing since he’s came in.
“I’m learning from him on and off the pitch.
“He’s always giving me advice - even before the game on Saturday when he was out injured.
“He’s been there and done it, won the Scottish Cup and played so many games for St. Johnstone so it’s good to learn off boys like him.
“I’ve played with Bene and Davo for a few seasons now and I’m always learning so it will be good to have those boys back available.”
McKay believes that Rovers should take belief from the fact that they remain top of the table despite significant injury and suspension problems.
“We’re hanging in there,” he said. “We are down to the bare bones, let’s face it, but all the boys are fighting.
“We’re a close bunch, and we all want to get promoted so bad, so we’ll keep going.”