BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Elgin City may not have a handful of Manchester United legends at the helm but Rory McKeown reckons Raith Rovers should have English shock troops Salford City in their mind’s eye this afternoon.
As the Championship side, Raith will be expected to see off their League Two opponents in the Highlands today, but McKeown knows full well that cup competitions do not always go according to plan.
And McKeown insists the historic win over Notts County racked up in the FA Cup this month by Salford – who are co-owned by ex-Manchester United players Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs – is a timely reminder of the pitfalls awaiting Rovers against their part-time hosts.
The former Kilmarnock defender said: “It’s the cup and anything can happen.
“Recently, I watched that cup tie between Salford City and Notts County, which shows if you don’t ‘turn up’, you go out of the cup – it’s as simple as that.
“We are the bigger team and there shouldn’t be any pressure on them.
“The pressure is on us and we have to perform.
“We are the full-time team but they’re unbeaten at home and will have their fans behind them, so we have to deal with that.”
It could have panned out so differently, but Raith’s 2-0 victory over Linlithgow last season ended up sparking an enjoyable cup run that included a memorable win over Rangers and ended with a narrow 1-0 defeat to eventual winners Inverness Caley Thistle in the quarter-finals
And, despite being put through the mill by their opponents from the juniors, McKeown insists that nerve-racking occasion gives him optimism this year.
He added: “We have to take the positives from that – we ended up winning the game.
“We probably didn’t play as well as we should have and if it hadn’t been for David McGurn in goal we could have come in 3-0 down at half-time.
“But we won 2-0 and that was the start of a little run for us, so we have to focus on that.
“Then we had the big game against Rangers. That went well for us and then we went to Inverness and probably didn’t perform as well as we should have.
“That was a missed chance to go on an even better cup run but Inverness went on to win it in the end so we can’t really complain too much.
“It would be nice to get a wee cup run going this year.”