Raith confidence unaffected ahead of Queen’s visit

James Craigen is harried by Nathan Oduwa at Ibrox on Saturday. Credit - Fife Photo Agency -
James Craigen is harried by Nathan Oduwa at Ibrox on Saturday. Credit - Fife Photo Agency -

Raith Rovers boss Ray McKinnon insists that the team’s confidence has been not damaged by Saturday’s heavy defeat at Ibrox.

McKinnon stressed that the 5-0 defeat to Rangers has been quickly forgotten and that his players are looking forward to returning to Stark’s Park for Saturday’s clash against Queen of the South.

“Confidence certainly hasn’t been affected,” McKinnon told the Press. “We’ve trained fantastic all this week and the boys are flying.

“They are a good group and they know that they underperformed slightly on Saturday - but they also know they won’t be judged against Rangers.

“They will probably do that to most teams in our league, and to most Premier League teams as well. Rangers will be clear by Christmas.

“We’re looking forward to getting back at home where we have good some good performances and where we’ve had a good start to the season.

“In every game we’ve been competitive, and we’re hoping for the same on Saturday.

“If we show the right attitude there’s every chance of winning the game and continuing our good start.”

Raith have had a 100 per cent start at home, winning all four games thus far, while only conceding one goal in the victory over Premiership side Hamilton in the League Cup.

Should Rovers make it five wins from five at Stark’s Park, they will climb above visitors Queen of the South in the table, who currently sit in third place.

McKinnon, however, is simply focused on the three points.

“The incentive for us is the same as it is for every game - to go out and win,” McKinnon said. “We don’t pick and choose the games we want to win, we approach every game the same.

“The guys will go into the game full of confidence and in great spirits.”

Raith are encouraging hosting a Family Day in the McDermid Stand on Saturday in the hope of attracting more supporters to the game.

“We’ve done well at home this season so we’re hoping that families will come down, have a look around and support the team,” he said.

“Hopefully the reduced admission will help because it would be nice to get more fans out to support the team.”

Raith welcome Craig Wighton back into the squad after the youngster returned from Scotland Under 19 duty.

“It’s good to have Craig back,” McKinnon added. “He’s looked sharp in training.”

On the injury front, Craig Barr has had an injection to try and resolve a groin problem, and is hoping to return to training with two to three weeks. Ross Callachan’s dislocated shoulder is likely to keep him out for a further six weeks, while Lewis Vaughan had his knee operation this week and is expected to be out of action until the first half of 2016.