On-loan Leicester City striker backed by Ray McKinnon to make impact for Raith Rovers after double



Ray McKinnon has backed Leicester City’s Harry Panayiotou to help solve Raith Rovers’ goal drought after the on-loan striker netted a double this week.

The 21-year-old could make his first start for the Stark’s Park men against Falkirk tomorrow after moving north during last month’s transfer window.

The Saint Kitts and Nevis cap almost make an instant impact for the Kirkcaldy outfit, who have failed to score in their last five matches, but saw his strike on his debut in the recent 1-0 defeat to Rangers ruled out for an earlier foul.

Harry Panayiotou

However, the youngster has played his way into contention with a brace in Monday’s 3-1 victory over Stirling Albion in a Development League East fixture.

Rovers manager McKinnon said: “It’s difficult, coming up from England and trying to hit the ground running.

“But we’re hopeful that, if he starts the game on Saturday, he can have an impact.

“If he gets an opportunity then hopefully he can take one.

“I do feel we’ll create opportunities on Saturday, just with the way we play and the way they play.

“I think we’ll create opportunities against them, it’s just a case of making sure we take them.”

Tomorrow’s match pitches Raith in fourth against Falkirk one place above them in the Championship table.

However, with a full 18 points separating the two clubs, McKinnon is realistic when assessing his team’s chances of catching their hosts.

With just six points between Dumbarton in eighth and Rovers in the final promotion play-off place, McKinnon is willing to admit that Falkirk have, at least, third sewn up and that the battle for fourth is Raith’s priority.

McKinnon, whose side have lost 1-0 and 2-1 to the Bairns so far this season, added: “It’s like Dundee United trying to claw back the gap to the bottom teams in the Premiership.

“You’re needing six results to go against them and six results to go for us. It’s a tall ask.

“If we can win on Saturday, and we can pick up points from our games in hand, then it does close the gap.

“But I think they’re cemented in the play-off places. They did well in the early part of the season – for a period there they were chasing Rangers, it was frightening.”