Raith Rovers: Ray McKinnon excited by play-off opportunity

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Scotland
Raith Rovers held champions Rangers to a 3-3 draw at Stark's Park earlier this month
Raith Rovers held champions Rangers to a 3-3 draw at Stark's Park earlier this month

Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon says it would be "incredible" if they returned to the top flight for the first time in almost 20 years.

The Kirkcaldy side sealed a Premiership play-off quarter-final spot after seven wins from their last 10 games.

"The remit this year was just to try and consolidate the club in the division and improve the squad," McKinnon told BBC Radio Scotland.

"The play-offs, with the opportunity of the Premiership, is incredible."

Rovers will play either Hibernian or Falkirk over two legs in the first stage of the promotion play-offs on 4 and 7 May.

Bairns boss Peter Houston has already stated that he is eager to finish second so they avoid the Stark's Park side in that contest.

"It's nice to hear them say that because we feel going into these games that we're definitely the underdogs," said McKinnon.

"We don't have anything to lose, so anything from now on is a bonus and they should be very competitive games.

"I think we're the form team in the league right now, ahead of Rangers.

"Anyone coming to play us over two legs is going to find it very difficult. There's more pressure on Hibs and Falkirk to get into the Premiership than there is on us, but that's not to say we won't be giving everything."

Raith have not been in Scotland's top flight since 1997 and former Brechin City manager McKinnon is confident his players can handle the challenge ahead.

"We've assembled a good squad," he said. "I heard [Hibs boss] Alan Stubbs talking about big players in his dressing room; we're very similar.

"We've got winners and their focus now that we're in the play-offs is to try and get in the Premiership. As a team we're going to give it everything we can to try and achieve that."

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