Another underdog for Raith to overcome in cup

Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray and first team coach Laurie Ellis promote the Ramsden Cup Story' DVD. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray and first team coach Laurie Ellis promote the Ramsden Cup Story' DVD. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

League One strugglers Stirling Albion stand between Raith Rovers and a place in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup this Saturday.

Stirling are currently bottom of their table and required a replay – and penalty kicks – to squeeze past junior side Hurlford United in the previous round.

Rovers also made hard work of overcoming junior opponents Linlithgow Rose and it will be another case of avoiding a potential banana skin at Forthbank.

Manager Grant Murray has warned his players to expect a tough tie.

“Take nothing way from Stirling because it will be a very difficult game,” Murray said. “All cup ties are – it doesn’t matter the level of separation between the teams.

“It’s what you do on the day that counts and getting through is all that matters.

“It’s all about adapating to the day and the conditions, because it will be typical cup tie football.

“We’ll go there with a determination to do the right things, get ahead in the game and make sure we progress.

“The players are certainly looking forwad to it – it’s a fantastic opportunity to get into the next round.”

Murray has guarded his players against reading too much into Stirling’s poor campaign thus far.

“Just because they are underdogs doesn’t mean it will be easy,” he said. “It will be a hard game regardless of their league position.

“They’re getting a break from the league so they will feel a freshness. They’ll raise their game – we’re a scalp for them so we’ve got to prepare properly.

“Both teams will want to progress, especially with five all-Premiership ties meaning five of those teams are going out. That’s a big incentive for any club to get into the next round.

“We know how good cup runs can be for clubs like ourselves, but our mentality has to be right on the day.

“We got a fright in the first half against Linlithgow so hopefully we understand what it took to win that game.”

Murray may be tempted to make some changes to his side after the disappointing league defeat in Dumfries on Saturday.

“We’ll play the side that we think is capable of winning the game,” he said. “We’re getting bodies back now so there’s a lot of competition for places.”

Murray also indicated that the younger members of the squad – the likes of Ross Callachan and Lewis Vaughan – will need to stay patient having featured very little recently.

Callachan saw a proposed loan move to Peterhead fall through last week, but the midfielder could yet be farmed out to another club.

“If we feel it will benefit him by going out on loan to get games of football, then it’s something we’ll continue to look at,” Murray said.

Calum Elliot should be fit after being withdrawn in the Queen of the South game with a dead leg.

Craig Barr and Kevin Cuthbert remain sidelined.

Meanwhile, Raith Rovers’ commemorative Ramsdens Cup DVD goes on sale today (Thursday).

Produced by the Raith TV team, it tells the inside story of the 2013-14 Ramsdens Cup journey from the earlier rounds to the big day on April 6 at Easter Road.

The DVD, which costs £12, is available at either of the club shops (Stark’s Park or Mercat) and online.

The club has made a limited one-off production of the DVDs - so when they’re gone, they’re gone.