Former Dundee United forward in signing talks as Raith prepare for visit of Dumbarton

Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon
Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon

Raith Rovers boss Ray McKinnon is hoping to get back into action – and back to winning ways – when Dumbarton visit Stark’s Park on Saturday.

Rovers were aiming to end a run of three defeats at St Mirren last Saturday but were left frustrated when the match was called off less than 10 minutes before kick-off due to heavy snow.

Rovers are still holding on to fourth place in the Championship table despite winning only one of their last nine league games.

The run has coincided with several key injuries but with light at the end of the tunnel on the recovery front, and former Dundee United forward Aidan Connolly currently in signing talks, McKinnon is hopeful results will improve.

“The only thing we’ve not been able to do is put the ball in the net, and that’s hurt us in a couple of games,” he said.

“The attitude of the squad has been great. We’ve been working with a squad that’s been depleted most of the time, but everybody that has come in has done a job for me.

“All we need to do is take our chances. If we can do that, we’ll be alright, because defensively we’re decent.

“We gave away penalties in two of last three games, which has been a sore one, but we had enough chances to win the game against Alloa, and enough chances against Hibs to get something out of the cup game.

“The boys are doing well.”

Things are looking up for Raith on the injury front, with Craig Barr and Lewis Toshney back in training, while Jason Thomson was hoping to get the green light to return this week pending a satisfactory result from a back scan.

Lewis Vaughan is also back kicking footballs again and is targeting a top-team return in March.

“If we can get these players back, and add one more out and out striker, then we’ll have a really good squad to go to war with,” McKinnon said.

“Hopefully in the next four to five weeks we’ll get everybody back and have a right good go at the second half of the season.”

McKinnon’s hunt for a striker is ongoing – Connolly has been training with the club following his release from Tannadice, while a 6ft-plus front man, currently playing in Scandinavia and who had a trial with Chelsea in 2012, is expected to arrive for a trial next week.

McKinnon is also looking to tie down more players for next season after recently securing Kyle Benedictus and Lewis Toshney on contract extensions.

“Behind the scenes we’re trying to put everything in place for next season,” he said.

“I’m speaking to another couple of players this week, and fair play to the board for allowing me to get these key players tied up.

“That will give us some breathing space come the summer, because we won’t be rushing around looking for the core of our team.”

Saturday’s match will go ahead despite the sudden passing of Dumbarton CEO Gilbert Lawrie on Thursday.

Sons vice-chairman Colin Hosie said : “We all go to Raith with a very heavy heart tomorrow following yesterday’s devastating news about Gilbert.

“We gave serious consideration to calling for a postponement but we didn’t think that it would be something that Gilbert would have wanted.

“With agreement from our friends at Raith Rovers, there will be a minutes applause as we remember him before kick-off.

“And players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect.”