Raith boss Barry Smith’s squad is down to the bare bones for their League 1 opener at Stranraer tomorrow with five players set to miss the game through injury and suspension.
Keeper Robbie Thomson who had to come off during the defeat by Cove Rangers in the Betfred Cup last weekend with a hip problem is almost certainly ruled out along with Chris Duggan, Lewis Vaughan and Nathan Flanagan while Lewis Milne is rated doubtful and experienced centre-half Iain Davidson is suspended.
Smith signed 19-year-old Rangers keeper Kieran Wright on loan earlier this week and the goalie, who was farmed out last season to Albion Rovers, seems certain to make his debut for the Kirkcaldy side tomorrow.
The manager said: “Robbie has not trained all week so he is a major doubt.
“We had been in talks with Rangers for the last couple of weeks trying to get Kieran so it has just happened at the right time. That helps us out quite a bit.
“Kieran had a half season at Albion Rovers last year so he knows the league and what’s expected of him.
“He has had competitive games in League 1 which is always important.
“However, Chris Duggan is definitely out for two to three weeks with a hamstring problem.
“It isn’t torn but there is obviously something there that is preventing him from sprinting.
“Nathan Flanagan again is still suffering from a problem with his back.
“He did a wee bit of training today but won’t be available for Saturday.
“Lewis Milne is also a doubt while Lewis Vaughan is still out.
“He is progressing really well (from operation) but we don’t want to rush him back.
“Grant Gillespie had a slight knock on his knee so we decided to rest him against Cove but he has trained this week and will be available.
“However, Iain Davidson is suspended so we might only have two on the bench.”
Raith’s small squad has been stretched to the limit throughout the Betfred Cup group stage campaign.
While that was obviously a factor in defeats to Cowdenbeath and Cove, Smith is keen to see a high level of consistency from his team no matter who is fit and available.
He added: “We have had a lot of injuries which is difficult but nobody wants to hear excuses.
“It has made it tougher but we still believe we should have done better in the Betfred Cup group.
“For as much as we had good performances against Hearts and Inverness, we can’t allow our standards to slip to where they were against Cowdenbeath and Cove.
“We have had two good games and two poor games, so we are still looking for that consistency.
“But we know how high their standards can be and we are demanding of the players that they have to be at those levels every game.”
As the only full-time team in the league, one bookie has made Raith joint favourites for the title along with Dumbarton who have just come down from the Championship.
However, Smith insists League 1 is far from being a two-horse race.
He said: “I think a lot of teams would dispute that Raith and Dumbarton are the only two up there as strong favourites.
“There are a lot of other good teams in there – Arbroath and Airdrie just to mention two.
“It is a tough league but we know what our expectation is and we work to that.”