BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Raith Rovers are in advanced talks to sign a striker on loan from England ahead of tomorrow’s trip to face St Mirren.
The Kirkcaldy club have been left short in attack following Jon Daly’s retirement at the weekend to join Hearts as a coach and Dundee’s decision to recall Craig Wighton from his loan at Stark’s Park.
The Championship outfit recruited Louis Longridge on loan from Hamilton Accies earlier this week but the 24-year-old is not the out-and-out marksman required.
Manager Ray McKinnon is keen to keep the identity of his target under wraps but is optimistic of a positive answer before facing the Buddies.
He said: “We’re speaking to a club down south about a loan for a young striker and we’ll have to to see what happens.
“He’s a player who’s been highly recommended to us, he’s a talented boy and we’re hopeful.
“I would love to think we could get something done before Saturday but we’re waiting to hear back.
“We need to add a striker, there’s no doubt about it.”
The need to strengthen in attack was laid bare in Tuesday’s 1-0 home defeat to bottom side Alloa Athletic.
Raith passed up a hatful of chances to take the lead before being hit by the sucker punch of Iain Flannigan’s late winner from the spot.
Given they have suffered a lengthy injury list and the fact they are short up front, that Rovers are fourth and in line for a play-off spot after 19 games of the season is testament to the hard work of McKinnon and his squad.
However, with the prospect of a fresh face or two and the injury situation improving in the coming weeks, the Stark’s Park boss is desperate to get one over an old pal tomorrow and pick up a first win in three league games.
Asked about Buddies counterpart Alex Rae, McKinnon added: “I played with Alex in the Scotland under-21s and I also worked with him as a coach with the national squad under Ricky Sbragia. I know Alex well and he’s a good lad. I like him, I get on well with him.
“I’m sure he’ll do a good job there if he gets the backing and he’s certainly got the resources to do a good job there.
“They’re a big club and, let’s be honest, they shouldn’t be where they are. They’ve got a good squad of players there.
“But they haven’t won a home game in the league all season. If we can go down there and get in about them early and take the game to them, then hopefully it’ll be ‘game on’.”