Raith Rovers winger Grant Anderson admitted that the controversial loan signing saga at Rangers has given the Kirkcaldy club something to think about ahead of this Sunday’s Scottish Cup fifth round tie at Ibrox.
Rangers preparations for the game were thrown into disarray yesterday (Thursday) when manager Kenny McDowall revealed that he has been instructed by club directors to select, if fit, the five players loaned from Newcastle United on transfer deadline day.
Of the five new arrivals, only three - Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic and Remie Streete - are likely to feature on Sunday as Kevin Mbabu and Shane Ferguson are currently injured.
For Raith, the new-look Rangers line-up represents an unknown quantity, but Anderson insists that will only help Rovers to be on their guard.
“They have pulled five in but I don’t know much about them,” Anderson said.
“I did play against Newcastle reserves a few years ago but I couldn’t tell you whether they were in their team that day.
“I know a couple of the boys have sat on the bench (for first team) so they have a future at Newcastle.
“They are good players so they could throw a couple of spanners into the works but we will just have to deal with it on the day.
“It could change the way they play dramatically.
“Personally, I think if he threw them all in it would be disrespectful to the team just now.
“It does change the way you think, but it will ensure we are on our toes and sharp - so it helps in a way.”
While Rangers may appear to be a club in turmoil on and off the park, Anderson is expecting to face a group of players determined to prove people wrong and make up for last week’s League Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic.
“Everybody is telling them they are struggling and playing poorly,” he said.
“But they will say, ‘Hold on a minute - we have signed five players, so they must have wanted to come here - we are better than what we have shown’.
“Obviously, last week’s game is a totally different entity. The Old Firm match is up there on it own.
“It’s now back to the bread and butter in the Scottish Cup and they will want to do well in this game.
“They will want to go out and prove everyone wrong.
“They will be under pressure as the fans want a win and a good performance.”
Rovers may be underdogs but they into the match on the back of a five-game unbeaten run and Anderson feels they should approach the tie in a positive frame of mind.
“We should just go out and keep the same way we have been playing in defence and attack,” he said.
“If we do that, then we shouldn’t do too badly.
“You can’t go to places like Ibrox and not be confident.
“You have to believe in yourself and do what’s right for the team.”
Anderson insists, however, that Raith will have to defend better than their previous trip to Ibrox for a league game in October which ended in a 6-1 hammering.
“The boys are a bit confused sometimes as we are putting in good performances elsewhere like at Tynecastle, but then we go to Ibrox and play a lot better and concede six,” he said.
“Despite getting battered 6-1 there were positives to take from the game, however, the way we defended as a team wasn’t good enough that day.”