Scottish Cup: Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray recounts Hibs' shock loss at Ayr United as he warns his players not to underestimate Linlithgow Rose
Although sixth tier Rose – currently 15 points clear at the top of the East of Scotland premier division – are four tiers below Championship cracks Raith, Murray has first hand experience of being on the receiving end of a Scottish Cup shock as he was in the top flight Hibs team who were defeated 1-0 at third tier Ayr United in a fourth round replay encounter 12 years ago.
“If you underestimate the opposition it’s difficult,” Murray told the Fife Free Press. Somerset Park is a hard place to go anyway and they were a good side as well.
"But Hibs losing was a shock – especially in a replay – as the smaller sides only tend to get one chance against bigger clubs.
"It had been 1-1 at East Road in the first game and then they beat us 1-0 on a Tuesday night.
"Underestimating teams is clubs’ biggest downfall. So our players are preparing exactly the same way as they would for a game against a top of the league team in our league.
"We have shown the players all the information we have. We have shown Linlithgow complete respect in terms of watching them two or three times now, garnering as much footage as we can.
"We have relayed all that to the players and they have to go out and perform as well.
"They know it is going to be difficult. I think we’ve seen enough shocks over the years to realise that we’re in for a hard game.
"Full credit to Linlithgow for getting this far and obviously flying high at the top of their league as well so we’re playing a team full of confidence.”
In a boost for Rovers, Murray said that Sam Stanton, Kieran Ngwenya and Ethan Ross had all recovered from injuries to return to training this week and – barring any setbacks – all three would be in contention to face Linlithgow.
The Stark’s Park gaffer also revealed his attempts to improve his side’s ‘game management’ at training, in the wake of last Saturday’s disappointment when Raith lacked this quality as they conceded a goal in the third minute of injury time to draw 2-2 in the league game at Cove Rangers.
"It was very obvious to me that our striker (John Frederiksen) shouldn’t be shooting from 40 yards when you’re 2-1 up in injury time,” Murray added.
"Everyone in football knows that you run that ball into the corner and you get the ball, out of play so you can regroup.
"I just told John after the game that in that situation you’ve got to be smarter and either hit the ball over the bar so we can regroup or get the ball out for a throw-in.
"At that stage of the game it’s not about looking pretty with stuff like that. There’s a reason why players don’t shoot from 40 yards, it’s that you don’t generally score.
"It was just a poor moment from John and very frustrating for the rest of the team.
“That was an individual mistake and then we didn’t defend the setplay as well as we’d hoped.
"Players make the decisions but fortunately in any walk of life, you only get better by experiencing horrible feelings like Saturday.
"We can analyse the whole game and say we should have been out of sight in the game, which we should have been. So there’s other aspects.”