Raith Rovers ready as can be for Betfred Cup opener against Dundee

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn on the touchline during Tuesday's friendly win over Cowdenbeath. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn on the touchline during Tuesday's friendly win over Cowdenbeath. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers are as prepared as they can be for the start of the new season.

That was the message from manager John McGlynn ahead of the Betfred Cup opener against Dundee at Stark’s Park on Saturday.

It promises to be a tough start for the Kirkcaldy side against the side relegated from the Premiership last season, but after winning all four friendlies, McGlynn is approaching the match in positive mood.

“We’ve played four games in 12 days and got four wins, so that breeds confidence and belief,” he said.

“I know we’re as well prepared as we can be, and maybe this is the best time to get Dundee.

“They’ve been abroad so I’m hoping we can catch them cold in the very first game.

“Hopefully, Dundee bring a good crowd down, and there will be a good atmosphere in the stadium.

“We hope we can produce a winning performance and, if we can do that, it will open up the group immediately.”

Rovers also face Inverness, Cove Rangers and Peterhead in Group D with only the top team guaranteed to progress to the last 16 as well as the four best placed runners-up.

After a hectic preseason programme, McGlynn plans to scale back training ahead of Saturday’s match to preserve his players’ energy.

“I don’t want us leaving our legs on the training ground or on the pitch because it’s more important for Saturday now,” McGlynn explained.

“We take the foot right off the pedal, tick the boxes with regards to some tactical work on Thursday and Friday, and that’s us ready for Dundee as best as we can be at this stage in the season.”

Despite fielding three trialists in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Cowdenbeath, including former Livingston midfielder Matthew Knox, McGlynn made it clear there will be no further signings.

“We’ve got 21 signed players and we’re happy with that,” he said.

“Of that 21, there are 18 available to us, and we’ve had a couple of trialists in just to help us get players off the pitch. There was nothing more in it than that.

“We’ve used the budget so we’re not expecting to be making any more signings.

“I’m content with what we’ve got.”

The manager was pleased with aspects of the performance on Tuesday night, particularly the character shown to come from behind, but he admitted his team is not yet the finished article.

“There were moments in the game where I thought, we’re nearly there,” he said.

“Just that one little ball here or there went astray and stopped a great move.

“The second goal we scored was a great counter-attacking move, which is what we’ve been working on as well, so that was pleasing.

“There was a lot to be pleased about. Now we evaluate everyone’s performances over the four games and pick a team to go against Dundee.”

David McGurn is unavailable owing to work commitments, so on-loan Ross County goalkeeper Ross Munro is in line to make his first competitive start.