Alex Rae: Pre-Match Thoughts

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By James Hunter
Alex Rae admitted that his players know that they’ll be in for a tough game on Saturday, as Hibernian come to the Paisley 2021 Stadium in the Ladbrokes Championship. Speaking to saintmirren.net about the game and the draw for the IRN-BRU Cup, which was made this afternoon, the manager said: “We’re under no illusions.
“They’ve just signed a player from the English Championship, they’re the Scottish Cup holders, they have a decent sized squad of players to choose from, so we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a difficult game for us – but by the same token we need to go in on a positive manner.”
Saints will be without Rocco Quinn and Calum Gallagher for the visit from Hibernian and the manager gave an update on both players. On Rocco Quinn, he said: “We’re trying to push him on and just keep checking his symptoms to make sure he’s not going back the way so that we can continue to push him on and get him up to speed sooner rather than later.”
Calum Gallagher was substituted early in the first half against Raith Rovers last Saturday after picking up a knock and the manager says that the winger will miss the game against Hibs: “Calum knocked his ankle so unfortunately he won’t make this weekend.”
The team has been boosted by the news that summer signings Gary MacKenzie and Ben Gordon are back in training. Alex said: “Big Gary has full training under his belt and Ben is back training as well. It’s just trying to get minutes in their legs from a game point of view.
He continued: “You can’t legislate for injuries. It’s obviously disappointing as we’ve also had Rocco and Gal injured as well so it’s not been an ideal start from that point of view. We just need to get these boys back up to speed and that will give us options.”
The IRN-BRU Cup third round draw was made earlier this afternoon and sees Saints face a trip to Coatbridge to face Albion Rovers. League One Rovers went to penalties in three of their four Betfred Cup games at the start of the season and Alex is looking forward to the test they will pose. He said: “We have to try and win every game that we go into and it’ll be a good task for us. They were taking the opposition to the wire so we’ll need to be on the front foot.”
There has been speculation about the future of midfielder Stephen Mallan and the manager admitted that, while there has been contact, the club want to keep a hold of the player. He said: “An enquiry was made but we aren’t interested in selling. We are trying to build something here.”