Injuries leave Raith boss short of attacking options

Lewis Vaughan is a major injury doubt for Raith.
Lewis Vaughan is a major injury doubt for Raith.

Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn admits he could be left without a plan B for Saturday’s match against Stranraer due to a lack of attacking options.

Front man Lewis Vaughan has not recovered as quickly as hoped from the injury picked up against Arbroath before the international break and is rated highly doubtful.

Fellow striker Chris Duggan also remains sidelined due to an ongoing groin problem, which he had been playing through prior to McGlynn’s arrival, while attacking midfielder Lewis Milne is also struggling with a hamstring strain.

With three forward players potentially out of action, and the squad lacking depth, McGlynn is facing the prospect of having no attackers on the bench.

McGlynn told the Press: “We can fill the bench with the young ones but when you look at our options, it’s either full backs or central midfielder players, there’s no real out and out wingers or strikers.

“You look at the bench and there’s not really a change to make an impact higher up the pitch, which is what you would want to do if you’re needing to win a game.”

Former Raith striker Joel Thomas, who played under Ray McKinnon in 2016, has been training with the club this week, having spent last season with FC Eindhoven in the Dutch second tier.

Whether it is with the intention to secure a deal remains to be seen.

McGlynn added: “The loan window is closed now, so the only players you can get are free agents, and it’s not like they are readily available.

“If the loan rules were different we could probably bring in more players, and that would be beneficial because we’re still running very tight.”

McGlynn admitted that Vaughan and Duggan will be a big loss in the final third, but that it opens the door for Liam Buchanan to reclaim a place in the starting XI.

“It’s a blow to lose these guys because in the attacking phase of the pitch, we maybe struggled a wee bit against Arbroath to open things up,” he said.

“I know Lewis played, but he took a knock reasonably early and tried to play through it, but there was no doubt it was hampering him.

“We need to deal with it and someone else has got to come in, take the opportunity and stake a claim.

“Liam’s an option. He’s got a bit of experience about him and he comes on against Dumbarton and gets a goal late in the game, so he still knows the way to goal.

“He’s a good one to have about and be ready to go.”

Raith kept themselves warm over the international break with a closed doors match against Falkirk last Thursday, winning 1-0 thanks to a Kevin Nisbet strike.

With three weeks now under his belt working with his squad, McGlynn is hopeful of a good performance, and three points gainst Stranraer on Saturday.

“Stranraer have good players and will certainly be no pushovers, but for Rovers to get out of this league we need to be winning this type of game, and capable of playing under that pressure,” he said.

“It’s a good pressure so stand up and be counted, and be positive about it.”