Jamie MacDonald reckons Kilmarnock’s capture of St Johnstone striker Callum Hendry underlines the gulf in resources between them and Raith Rovers.
However, the Stark’s Park stopper believes Raith can bely the budgets and claim a pivotal triumph this afternoon.
Boss John McGlynn made no secret of his desire to strengthen Rovers’ pool of attackers prior to Thursday evening’s deadline to complete domestic loan deals.
But no new arrivals were forthcoming in Kirkcaldy.
In sharp contrast, Kilmarnock added Hendry to a group already including the Premiership pedigree of Oli Shaw and Scott Robinson, who led the line superbly for Livingston.
Killie boss Tommy Wright was even in a position to allow Innes Cameron to join Queen of the South on loan.
“That [Hendry signing] is probably the difference between ourselves and Kilmarnock — that squad depth,” said MacDonald.
“Killie have several quality strikers who have all played in the Premiership in the last year or so.
“We are perhaps a little light in that area.
“If you go through the Championship, starting XI vs starting XI, then I don’t think there’s much between any of the teams.
“The difference comes from your depth and that’s dictated by budgets.
“I think Kilmarnock have kept the same budget from the Premiership and they are going to be one of the favourites.
“But football isn’t decided by budgets. It helps but it’s never the deciding factor.”
Building for the future
Indeed, Rovers have made a habit of punching above their weight since MacDonald’s arrival, notably securing a third place finish in the Championship last term as a newly-promoted club.
That’s not to mention their recent Premier Sports Cup victory against Aberdeen.
“We play an exciting brand of football — sometimes a bit too exciting,” smiled MacDonald. “But most of the games we play are entertaining, open and, absolutely, we try to punch above our weight.
“But we are trying to get into a position where we are not the underdog.
“Everyone is working really hard at the club — at all levels — to build something and it’s a really exciting time to be a Raith Rovers fan.”
A victory at Rugby Park would see Rovers move to within two points of the Ayrshire outfit and, in the process, strengthen their place in the promotion playoff positions.
But MacDonald — who made more than 100 appearances for Killie between 2015 and 2020 — knows they must call on remarkable reserves of energy as they embark on a fourth game in nine days.
“It’s been a tough, tough week,” acknowledged MacDonald. “The [1-1] draw against Dunfermline was our third game in six days.
“The first was at Parkhead, then up against a Partick team who had been going well, then Dunfermline in a Fife derby.
“So, it’s going to be another tough task going to Kilmarnock — but hopefully we can find another big performance.”