Raith hope to rip up the form book in Falkirk

Fit-again Raith defender Craig Barr is pushing for a place in the team to face Falkirk.
Fit-again Raith defender Craig Barr is pushing for a place in the team to face Falkirk.

Raith Rovers will hope to rip up the form book and bring some much-needed Christmas cheer to the club in Saturday’s live televised Championship match in Falkirk.

While Raith head to Falkirk Stadium on a four-game losing run that has seen them tumble down the league, the hosts have won their last five games to shoot up the table, overtaking the Kirkcaldy men in the process.

After encouraging displays in defeats to Dumbarton and Hibs, Raith manager Grant Murray sees no reason why Raith can’t turn the tables in the live BBC Alba clash, which kicks off at 5.30 p.m.

“We’ve got to have that belief about us that we can do what Falkirk have done,” he said. “Look at where they were in the table a few weeks ago - now they’ve put a few wins together and moved up the league.

“We have to go there believing we can win. That’s what football is all about - ripping up form book. The last few performances have given me lots of encouragement, now it’s about getting the win that will give us confidence.”

Raith have the joint poorest defensive record in the league alongside Cowdenbeath with 36 goals conceded in 17 games, and Murray has stressed the importance of tightening up at the back.

“We want to limit the mistakes as much as possible,” he said. “We don’t want to switch off - we did that on Saturday against Hibs and found ourselves 2-1 down. It’s about getting these things right, and if we do, it will help us get that win that we want.”

Murray could call on Craig Barr to solve his defensive woes with the centre-half now back in the squad after injury.Barr was signed from Airdrie in the summer but has yet to make his Rovers debut after picking up a knee injury in pre-season that required surgery. Murray arranged a closed doors match on Tuesday to get another look at Barr’s fitness ahead of the Falkirk match on Saturday.

“We brought Craig to the football club to be a first team player and to compete for first team spot,” he said. “That’s what I want and that’s what Craig wants. He’s been on the bench for the past few weeks but it’s about making sure he’s right to go onto the park. The last couple of development games have been called off, which has held him back, but we managed to get him involved in a bounce game this week.”

Christian Nade is fit to face Falkirk after shaking off a knock that saw him substituted in the closing stages of Saturday’s defeat to Hibs. However, midfielders Kevin Moon and Liam Fox are both doubtful with knee and rib injuries respectively.

Barrie McKay’s loan deal from Rangers is set to expire in early January although Raith are keen to extend it.