Raith boss tells Hibs: “It’s a cup tie - we’ll attack!”

Raith manager Ray McKinnon. Pic: George McLuskie
Raith manager Ray McKinnon. Pic: George McLuskie

Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon has promised his team will show its claws in the Scottish Cup fourth round clash against Hibs at Stark’s Park this Saturday.

Rovers face the Edinburgh giants for the second week running following a gritty defensive display in the 1-0 defeat at Easter Road in the league last Saturday.

The Kirkcaldy side had few attacking opportunties but McKinnon stressed that there will be a different approach for the home cup tie, with a bumper crowd expected.

“It’s a cup tie on Saturday, and we will be going for it,” said the Raith boss.

“With Iain Davidson, Mark Stewart and Grant Anderson back I’ve got options to be far more adventurous in this game. We’ll be attack-minded and going all out to win.

“That’s not to say we didn’t have a go on Saturday but with Mark Stewart pulling out, and Grant Anderson only fit for the last 20 minutes, you have to go with what you’ve got.

“So we set up with five in midfield, one sitting and four trying to get up to support Jon Daly. It worked in periods, but it also gave us that protection, because Hibs are a good team.But we’ll certainly be having a right go at them on Saturday.”

While Craig Wighton returned to Dundee this week following the end of his loan spell, Saturday’s match will also mark the end of Jon Daly’s time at Raith, with the striker set to hang up the boots to take up a coaching role at Hearts.

“Jon’s been great for us,” McKinnon said. “He’s given us presence up top, and given all he’s got in every game.

“Hopefully the fans give him a great send-off because this is the last game of his career, and let’s hope it’s a winning one against Hibs - before he goes to Hearts!

“It’s maybe written in the stars. He’s already scored against Hibs at home this season so if we can get the right service to him, then he’s a massive threat.

“That’s what we’ll be doing on Saturday - trying to get service into Jon, put them on back foot, and hopefully he signs off with a goal.”

With two strikers departing in consecutive weeks, McKinnon’s attacking options are wearing thin. He was hopeful of adding another forward to the ranks ahead of the visit of Hibs, but admitted that is now unlikely.

“We’re working behind the scenes, but if anything does happen, it won’t be before Saturday,” he explained. “We’re not looking at bringing in young boys - we need someone who can come straight into the team and deliver, and that’s going to be difficult to find that.”

Lewis Toshney, Jason Thomson, Lewis Vaughan and Craig Barr will all miss the match through injury.

Fans are reminded that the tie is all-ticket and fans are strongly advised to buy their tickets from the main office at Stark’s Park before Saturday.

Tickets will be available from the office window up until half an hour before kick-off but there will be no cash turnstiles.