BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
JASON Thomson insists he is more frightened of his wife than Hibs after laughing off Jason Cummings’ claims that the Easter Road side’s play-off opponents would be ‘scared’ of facing them.
Cummings may not have meant to involve himself in the ‘mind-games’ that have characterised much of this season in the Championship but his comments will have been music to the ears of Rovers manager Ray McKinnon.
McKinnon branded Cummings ‘irrelevant’ to the build-up to this evening’s quarter-final first-leg clash between the teams at Stark’s Park, but the bullish striker’s remarks are sure to have added extra motivation in the Fifers’ ranks.
However, Thomson tried his best to play down the prospect of a pre-match spat by making light of Cummings’ off-field slip and turning the attention back on Hibs’ high expectations.
Asked to address Cummings’ comments, he said: “That was mentioned in the changing room. But it is just a game of football.
“I am scared of other stuff – like my missus! But not games of football.
“We will just treat it like any other game and hopefully things will work out.
“There is maybe a bit more pressure on Hibs, with them being the bigger club and finishing higher in the league than us.
“Most people will be expecting them to beat us, so I think most of the expectation will be on them.”
Expectation is not something that Raith have had to deal with this season, but their form heading into the Hibs clash is hugely impressive.
Unbeaten in 11 matches and with only one defeat – away to Rangers – in their last 15, you have to go as far back as January 12 to find a loss to anyone other than the league’s runaway champions.
It is a sequence that has earned them a shot at promotion glory and Thomson insists they are in no mood to allow the opportunity to slip through their grasp.
The former Hearts full-back added: “The manager is a great motivator. He is always harping on at us to believe in ourselves, especially at the stage in the season that we are at.
“This chance might not come along again for anyone in the squad. If we don’t progress and we are in the same league next season, teams are only going to get better and it is going to be harder to get into this position.
“It is just about trying to grasp it and doing as well as we can, and going and maybe pushing into the Premiership. For a team like Raith Rovers that would be massive.
“It is something that you maybe (let yourself) think about. But, at the same time, we have still got six games to play and it is a big ask for everyone at the club.
“It is a big ask for any team, to get through six games and try to get promoted.
“We start on Wednesday and we want to make sure that by the time we go to Easter Road on Saturday there is still a tie to play for.”