Dumfries trip is a must-win for Raith defender Watson

Paul Watson insists Raith must win on Saturday to stay in the race for fourth place. Pic: FPA
Paul Watson insists Raith must win on Saturday to stay in the race for fourth place. Pic: FPA

Defender Paul Watson insists Raith Rovers must win at Queen of the South on Saturday to keep their season alive following the midweek Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Inverness.

With their dreams of a Hampden semi-final dashed following the 1-0 defeat in the Highlands on Tuesday, Watson is now turning his attention to the trip to Dumfries, and the battle for fourth place.

Raith are on the fringes of the Championship promotion play-off race, currently eight points adrift with a game in hand on both Queens and Falkirk, but Watson believes victory on Saturday could ignite a late push.

“The boys are devastated after going out the cup,” Watson told the Press.

“There was a big prize there to play either Celtic or Dundee United at Hampden.

“But we’ve just got to brush ourselves down and get ready for another massive game on Saturday.

“We’ve still got our sights on that fourth place - there’s still an outside chance for us - but I think we have to win on Saturday.

“If we lose that game it’s going to be a mountain to climb.

“But if we can win it, we’ve still got both them and Falkirk to play so you never know what can happen.”

Raith will need to pick themselves up quickly after being out-classed by Inverness in Tuesday night’s rescheduled quarter-final.

“Inverness just showed their quality in the end,” Watson said.

“Their system is hard to play against but we knew what to expect.

“We worked on it through the week and we were confident - you have to be in these games.

“We were planning on keeping it 0-0 as long as possible and maybe nick a goal.

“The longer it stays 0-0 the more frustrated and nervy they would get.

“They pressed us high, pinned us back and kept the ball but we dealt with quite a lot of it, and we were riding our luck at times.

“To then lose a goal from a set play is devastating.

“Of all the great chances and quality play they scored from a corner - which is the most disappointing thing.

“We only managed a couple of half-chances but they stopped us from playing.

“It just wasn’t to be.”

The tie was moved to Tuesday after a rain storm left Inverness’ pitch uplayable on Saturday morning.

“That was disappointing, but we’re professionals,” Watson said.

“You’ve got to get on with it - these things happen.

“We were ready for the game on Saturday but we were even more ready for it on Tuesday night so we can’t use it as an excuse.”