BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
RAITH Rovers have been hit with a mounting selection crisis as Gary Locke fears having almost a team’s worth of talent missing this weekend.
Already without the services of keepers Kevin Cuthbert and Aaron Lennox, as well as long-term absentees Scott Robertson and Craig Barr, the Championship hopefuls have fresh injury worries ahead of Saturday’s trip to face on-form Forfar Athletic in the IRN-BRU Cup.
Former Kilmarnock winger Chris Johnston, ex-PSG defender Jean-Yves M’Voto and Irishman Joel Coustrain are also battling for fitness, whilst skipper Jason Thomson is suspended and on-loan Rangers youngster Jordan Thompson is cup-tied and is away on international duty with Northern Ireland under-21s.
Locke said: “We’ve got a couple of injuries, it’s starting to mount up a wee bit, and we’ve got a suspension this weekend with Jason as well.
“The squad is getting tested now, there’s not doubt about that. It’s a problem for us because we’ve not got a big enough squad to carry a lot of injuries.
“But we’ll just need to get on with it and hopefully we’ll still have enough in the squad to get a result on Saturday.”
Locke admits the pictures of the Ramsdens Cup-winning team of 2014 that are displayed inside Stark’s Park are a motivation for the current squad to try to emulate that success.
But he believes the Kirkcaldy outfit, who are undefeated in four Championship matches, will have their work cut out away to Forfar, who have four wins from four in League One.
He added: “It’s a cup and any cup competition you go into you want to try to win it if you can. This one’s no different and we want to keep the momentum going.
“We know it’s going to be difficult but we’ll be putting out as strong a team as we possibly can to try to win the game.
“Forfar are flying and we don’t need any warning because we went there in pre-season and they beat us 2-0.
“So, the boys are well aware of how difficult this game’s going to be and if we’re not at it we’ll cause ourselves a problem.
“You see the photographs of the team that won the Ramsdens Cup and the success they brought to the club, and the smiles they put on everybody’s faces.
“It’s a good competition and one we’re looking forward to being involved in, and hopefully we can have a good run in it.”