Raith Rovers ready for end of season showdown

John McGlynn says he is backing his players to throw off the disappointment of losing to Dundee as they head into the final league game of the season.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 9:00 am
Raith boss John McGlynn (Pic: Michael Gillen)

With Dunfermline finishing clear in fourth spot, second place in the Championship is now a straight fight between Raith and Dundee, with McGlynn’s men leading the Dens park side by a single point.

A draw with James McPake’s side last Saturday would have seen Raith take the runners-up position but they returned from Tayside having lsot 2-1 in a rather drab affair.

But despite losing the match McGlynn said he is still “delighted” to be in a play-off spot and is now fully focused on Friday’s home match with champions Hearts, as Dundee head to Dumfries to play Queen of the South.

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"It was disappointing to lose but it doesn’t derail us or throw us off course for what is going to an exciting end to the season,” he said.

Friday night’s final round of games throws up many variables for McGlynn’s team but the bottom line is simple – beat Hearts and they will finish runners-up.

“It’s going to be a difficult game,” he says, “Hearts have sealed the title so the pressure is off them.

"We’ll need to be at our best. We’ve beaten Hearts before and they’ve beaten us, so anything can happen.

“It’s an awkward one because if we win we know we have a bit of a break before we go into the Premiership semi-final, but we know we will have to put an awful lot into the Hearts game to do that.

“If we fall short we have to go into a play-off game very soon after that.

"It’s a bit of a dilemma, but if you had offered us this at the start of the season we’d have taken it.

"It’s a really exciting end to the league season.”

Whilst having to play an extra two games in a bid for promotion should Raith finish in third place would be far from ideal, McGlynn admits a play-off against Fife rivals Dunfermline is a mouth-watering prospect.

"You couldn’t have scripted that better,” he says, “to get a Fife derby in a quarter-final or a semi-final would be awesome.

"They’ve won [a derby] this season, we’ve won one and the other was a a draw so we’re very even.

"We can get to the final if we play at our very best and we have nothing to fear.”