Raith look to have their say in title race

Grant Murray
Grant Murray
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RAITH Rovers will not win this year’s first division - but they could have a say in who does.

Promotion chasers Morton and Partick both visit Stark’s Park within four days of each other, with Saturday’s game against the Greenock men followed quickly by Thistle’s trip to Kirkcaldy on Tuesday.

Raith player-boss Grant Murray is relishing the prospect of back-to-back home games against the teams who are currently neck-and-neck at the top of the table.

“We know we’re in for two very difficult games - but these are the kind of games players enjoy,” Murray told the Press.

“Our players will be out to prove a point against the top two teams in the league, but we’ll have to be at our best.

“There’s a lot at stake for Morton and Partick, but we’ve got to look at it from our point of view, and we want to pick up maximum points.

“We want to close the gap on the teams above us by winning our game in hand.

“If it means we end up having a say in who wins the league - then so be it.”

Murray believes the team’s previous games against the top two this season should provide his players with the belief that they can win both games.

He explained: “We lost by one goal at Morton earlier in the season in a game of few chances, then we lost a late goal to draw against them at home.

“And in our last match against them at Cappielow, we lost 1-0, but we created more chances than we have in any other game this season.

“The players were really disappointed after that game and they’ll be looking to make amends for that on Saturday.

“The Partick games have been been very close as well – apart from the Ramsdens Cup game, when we were soundly beaten.

“In the last league game at Stark’s Park, we got ourselves into a good position by taking the lead, and then had chances to get a second before we lost a goal in the last 30 seconds to end up drawing.

“I also felt we played very well against them at Firhill, but we lost another late goal that day to lose 3-2.

“The players will have to remember those games, and make sure they put in the same effort, and more, in order to get something out of these games.”

Murray was speaking ahead of the disappointing trip to Dumbarton on Wednesday night, when Rovers threw away a two-goal lead to lose 4-2, a result which narrowed the gap between Raith and the teams below them.

And that result was even more difficult to take after Rovers went into the game on a high following Saturday’s 2-1 away win over Airdrie, their first victory on the road since October.

Murray added: “We want to get a bit of momentum going, because we’ve got a busy four weeks coming up that will decide where we’re going to end up in the league table.

“I’ve not set any targets other than winning our next game.”

Rovers will be without Eddie Malone on Saturday as the full-back has a one-game suspension due to an accumulation of bookings.