Rovers ready for biggest test of the season

Gordon Smith celebrates opening the scoring against East Stirling in the Scottish Cup
Gordon Smith celebrates opening the scoring against East Stirling in the Scottish Cup

Grant Murray admits Raith Rovers will need to be at their best this Saturday if they want to keep their unbeaten run going.

Second-placed Rovers travel across the Tay Bridge to face a Dundee side sitting two points behind them in the Championship table.

The Dark Blues have taken 13 points from a possible 15 at home this season, while Rovers are unbeaten in 11 matches, and sit just two points behind league leaders Hamilton.

With a big crowd expected at Dens Park, the match has all the makings of a cracker.

“It’s a difficult place to go and will be one of our biggest tests this season,” Murray said.

“We played Dundee early doors and had a 0-0 at Stark’s Park, but they’ve been on a good run and picked up a lot of points. They’re the team that’s came down from the top league so a lot of people look at them as the favourites to go back up.

“It’s a big stadium, and a big pitch, but if we play how we’ve been playing, I’ve no doubt we can give a good account of ourselves. We’ll just need to be at our best to get a result.”

Dundee are averaging crowds in excess of 4000 this season but Murray believes his players will relish the hostile atmosphere.

“We’ve got to go up there and enjoy that atmosphere,” he said. “Dundee are a huge club with a big fan base who are getting behind them. We have to be able to handle that, and play our own game.”

Rovers could go top this weekend if they win and Hamilton lose, but Murray insists that is not his priority.

“Trying to get into first place as early as we can is not our aim,” he said. “We’ve been in the position of being top of the league for nearly a whole season and got pipped at the end. All we’re focused on is continuing to play how we’re playing, keeping everyone fit, and winning games of football.”

Joe Cardle trained this week after missing the Scottish Cup win at East Stirling with a broken hand and Rovers are hopeful the winger will be in the squad for the trip to Dundee.