Raith Rovers target semi-final place but John McGlynn warns: Don’t underestimate Elgin

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn. Pic: Michael Gillen
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn. Pic: Michael Gillen

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn has warned his players not to underestimate Elgin City in Friday night’s Challenge Cup quarter-final under the floodlights at Stark’s Park.

The League Two side are on a good run of form and have already won three away ties, defeating Hibs U20s, Dundee and Airdrie on their way to the last eight stage of the competition.

Rovers are aiming for their first semi-final appearance since their victorious Ramsdens Cup run of 2014 but McGlynn is expecting a tough match in front of the BBC Alba cameras.

“We have to be very respectful to Elgin,” he said.

“They beat a Hibs reserves team that featured a number of good young players; Jamie Gullan being included as well as Ollie Shaw, Ryan Porteous, and you could go on.

“That is no mean feat. Then they go to Dens Park and win, then Airdrie and win, so we need to be very respectful and make sure we’re going about our business in a very professional manner.

“At the same time, we have to be confident that we can do it.

“We’re at home, where we have a great record and, if you were given the opportunity to play a team from the league below in a quarter-final, then you would bite their hand off.

“We need to take this opportunity with both hands and make sure we’re in a semi-final.”

Rovers will be without the cup-tied Jamie Gullan, while full backs Michael Miller and Kieran MacDonald are also doubts after both players went off injured during the 3-1 win over Stranraer on Saturday.

Miller has a knee strain, while MacDonald has a toe injury, resulting in both players missing training on Tuesday.

Joao Victoria and Lewis Allan have both returned to training this week following knee injuries and, barring any setbacks, will be available for selection against Elgin.

Iain Davidson is also free from suspension with the second match of his ban not including the Challenge Cup.

“We have numbers, so we’re not badly off. But you’d always want to have your full squad to choose from and we’re not getting that,” McGlynn said.

On the lack of natural cover for the left back position, McGlynn added: “Kieran is our only out and out left back, but when we built the squad in the summer, we felt Michael Miller could potentially play left back for us because he’s done it on the odd occasion in the past. But now, potentially, both of them could be out.

“We put Dan Armstrong in for the second half on Saturday and we weren’t exposed down that side with Dan playing there, and he came up with a great ball for Bairdy to score.

“So we have options.”