It wasn’t that any less priority was given to the Championship last season by Raith Rovers – it was more that the SPFL Trust Trophy was a welcome relief at times.
With reduced numbers at various stages, Ian Murray’s team struggled for consistency in a competitive second tier.
That didn’t hinder their cup runs, with a remarkable run to last season’s SPFL Trust Trophy final.
The final defeat to Hamilton was tough to take after doing so well to get there, with each round – as well as the Scottish Cup – brought distraction from the league.
This season, Raith Rovers have got off to a flyer, taking 10 points from their first four Championship matches.
Two weeks in between league games in this form isn’t ideal, but Murray is being sanguine about the situation.
Ian Murray respects SPFL Trust Trophy
“We never hide the fact that we want to go as far as we can in all the competitions, we want to go one better than last season,” the Rovers boss told Courier Sport.
“We have to remember how well we did to get to the final but also how sore it was after the final, and we don’t want that feeling again.
“It’s not as if we have a crazy fixture list, we’re not playing Saturday and Tuesday every week.
“We want to get through, we want to progress as far as we can and we’ll aim to do that.
“I’d probably prefer to keep going in the league. But we knew where this game was in the season, so we get on with it.
“When you’re on a decent run and gathering a bit of momentum then you want to keep it up.”
Cliftonville in town
Instead, it’s SPFL Trust Trophy third-round action for the Kirkcaldy club, who will at least face a slightly different opponent from the list of fellow Championship teams from last season’s run.
Cliftonville will make the journey over to Stark’s Park from Northern Ireland for Saturday’s match.
Jim Magilton’s side won their opening three league fixtures but have only taken a point from the most recent three.
On Tuesday, they were knocked out of the County Antrim Shield by Carrick Rangers.
Ian Murray expecting another tough match
“You know what you’re getting against Northern Irish opposition,” added Murray, who hopes to involve Aidan Connolly at some point this weekend following a lengthy period out with an ankle injury.
“They’re always confident aggressive and go to win the game. That’s what we expect from them.
“I’m sure they will have done their homework, so it will be another tough game.”