Happy memories but a noisy reception at Raith Rovers for Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon

Ray McKinnon steered Raith Rovers to the SPFL Championship play-offs in his year at Stark’s Park.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 3:22 pm
Ray McKinnon is heading back to Kirkcaldy. Picture: Michael Gillen.

But despite the success he enjoyed, he’s not expecting to be reminded of it on Saturday when he takes Falkirk back to Kirkcaldy on league business.

Despite his own good memories in the ‘Lang Toun’ he was met with a fierce reception from the home fans at last month’s Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup match – and he anticipates similar this weekend.

McKinnon spent a season with Raith. Picture: George McCluskie.

“I have nothing but good memories from my time at Stark’s Park but the reception wasn’t too great the last time! I don’t think they’ve forgiven me for leaving.

“We had a great season, 65 points in the Championship, the play-offs where we played Hibs and should have beaten them... we had built a right good team that could have gone up.

“But I left for Dundee United, and I understand the emotions and I don’t expect it to be any less noisy than it was the last time I went there.”

John McGlynn's triumphed last time out. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Rovers prevailed in the challenge cup match where McKinnon made seven changes to his starting line-up.

This time he has Michael Tidser back in contention and David McMillan also in full training and a healthy squad to choose from.

McKinnon added: “ Raith Rovers’ squad has been together for at least a year and they’ve had good continuity and have a nice blend of experienced players and young talent. We expect a tough game, but all in this league are tough.

PLAYER PROFILE: Michael Tidser

Ray McKinnon. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“Michael is back in training and he’ll bring himself into contention for the weekend. David McMillan is in full training after his little issue when he joined, but he’s showing what he can do already. He’s getting stronger and we’re delighted with his progress. He’s scored goals at a very good level and given good service he’ll score more for us.”

Falkirk have the best defence in Britain but they won’t come up against one of the best strikers in League One on Saturday after news of Lewis Vaughan’s ruptured ACL injury was confirmed on Wednesday.

LEAGUE TABLE: SPFL League One

McKinnon worked with the striker during his time at Raith and said: “I know Lewis personally having worked with him and I’m devastated for him. He’s worked so hard to get back to fitness and he is a top, top football player and I expected he would go on to do really well in his career. I am devastated he’s done it again because he deserves better.”