Ian Murray says Raith Rovers have “a little knack” of picking up results when working with reduced numbers.
Injuries to several players in recent weeks have so far not derailed a fantastic start to the campaign, but the Rovers boss knows it isn’t sustainable long-term.
Raith have taken six points from their last two matches against Dunfermline and Morton, with just four outfield substitutes on the bench for both – two of them young defenders.
It has also meant Scott Brown dropping to centre-back, where he has formed a solid partnership with Euan Murray, despite being the focus of opposition target men.
A win this weekend against Murray’s former side Airdrie – the only side to defeat Rovers in the league this season – would cap off an excellent week.
Ian Murray: We need players back quickly
“The boys have done superbly,” said Murray. “I had a good meeting with them on Thursday and we want to finish the week off in a really positive way.
“We’ve asked them to do a lot over the last four or five weeks, but they have done and have stepped up to the mark.
“We’ve been down to the bare bones, really, against two tough opponents but managed to pick up six points. It’s really, really good.
“We seem to have this little knack of being okay when we’re down to the bare bones.
“But we know that kind of stuff runs out in the long-term, so we need to get players back as quickly as we can to help the boys who have got us where we are.”
Injuries were also an issue last season but some of the most memorable results came with just two outfield substitutes available.
With a much stronger squad this season, Murray has been able to keep the early season momentum going.
He now expects to be asking the same crop of players to go again for the third time in a week.
Raith Rovers stars set to go again
“The team news is pretty much the same,” said Murray. “People are recovering, which is good, but it’s just the same.
“I wouldn’t have thought anybody will have recovered in time for Saturday.”
Those available will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home form against an Airdrie side that has had mixed results since their promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.
Revenge from earlier in the season “doesn’t enter into our thinking”, added Murray, who is more focused on building leads over teams below them in the Championship.
“We went into the last game against Airdrie looking to make it a 10-point gap by the end of the game, this time we’re looking to make it 13,” he said.
“Since that game, we’ve had better results than them, that’s factual. But we know it’s going to be tough, we know they’ve had some fantastic results this season.”