BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 09:21 UK

Fixture nightmare concern for Raith's John McGlynn

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn
McGlynn has had a letter of support from the Prime Minister

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn has gained the support of Gordon Brown but says thoughts of a fixture nightmare have usurped their Scottish Cup dream.

The First Division side face Dundee United in the semi-final at Hampden on Sunday and the local MP sent a letter wishing them well at Hampden.

But Rovers face five league games in 10 days after the showpiece.

"It's a nightmare for us," said McGlynn. "But the cup results so far spur us on ahead of Sunday."

Rovers' preparations for their first Scottish Cup semi-final in 47 years had to be interrupted for a 2-0 win over Ayr United at Somerset Park on Wednesday.

It took them in to seventh place and six points away from a relegation play-off spot, but McGlynn complains that the fixture congestion is taking its toll on his threadbare squad.

I'm sure Gordon Brown will be there in mind rooting us on, if not in body

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn

"It's been difficult up to now, but it`s going to get a lot more difficult," he said.

"After the semi-final, we have Airdrie on the 14th, Queen of the South on the 17th, Partick on the 19th, Dundee on the 21st then Dundee again on the 24th.

"Then it`s Airdrie on the 26th, Queen of the South on the 28th and we finish with Ross County on the 1st of May."

McGlynn says the midweek win took some of the psychological pressure off ahead of the Hampden showpiece, but he realises that they are not yet safe from relegation.

"We are not out of the mire, so to speak, with regards to the league, so the fixture backlog is going to have an effect on our players.," he said.

"It is having an effect now and, with not having the largest squad, it's a strain on each and every one of the players.

"We have players who are not 100% fit, but to their credit they are going on the park.

"The lads have always rallied round and dug in deep, so I have nothing but admiration for the squad and I know that they will respond on Sunday."

McGlynn says that the Scottish Football League sympathised with their plight, brought on by the number of winter weather postponements, but were unwilling to extend the season.

Now he is hoping for another big effort that would produce another victory over a Scottish Premier League side.

Rovers celebrate their quarter-final win at Dens Park
Rovers have beaten Aberdeen and Dundee on the road to Hampden

"We know we did it over two games against Aberdeen in the quarter-finals and it speaks volumes that we went to Pittodrie in the replay and beat them," he said.

"Before that, we showed the character to beat Dundee, who were big favourites, and that shows the belief.

"We do realise that Dundee United are the form team in Scottish football.

"It looks like they have a European spot tied up and they are looking to push Celtic all the way to the end of the season for second place, so we realise we have a big task ahead.

"But we feel we can cause them a few problems."

It appears that Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has previously helped his favourite team in their battle against financial problem, will not make it to Hampden following the start of the General Election campaign.

However, McGlynn said: "I got a letter from him complimenting us on our achievements so far and wishing us good luck for the semi-final, which was very nice of him.

"We do appreciate that he has got a lot on his plate right now. He's got an election campaign to fight and let's hope that we are both winners.

"I'm sure he will be there in mind rooting us on, if not in body."

Print Sponsor

see also
Houston expects tough Raith tie
07 Apr 10 |  Dundee Utd
Bowman targets Scottish Cup glory
08 Apr 10 |  Dundee Utd
Dundee 1-2 Raith Rovers
13 Mar 10 |  Scottish Cups

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites