Rangers boss Michael Beale believes Raith have already demonstrated potential for causing problems as he prepares for Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Ibrox.
The Kirkcaldy side, managed by former Rangers player Ian Murray, beat Motherwell 3-1 in the previous round to set up a trip to Govan in the quarter-finals.
Rovers are also performing well in the cinch Championship; they sit in seventh place with their first defeat in 10 league games coming in a 3-0 defeat by Partick Thistle in Maryhill last weekend.
Beale, who promised to play his strongest side against Rovers, referred back to two of their best performances since he took over as Rangers boss in November – a 3-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle in February and Wednesday night’s 4-1 win at Hibernian – as he considered the task ahead.
He said: “They’ve lost one in 10 (league) games so they’re in good form.
“It was the last game they lost so maybe that’s a motivation for them this week in terms of their training and I’m sure Ian’s getting into them.
“Obviously, he played for the club and secondly the warning’s there.
“They beat Motherwell 3-1 in the last round so the warning is there for us.
“It’ll be a completely different challenge. They’ll come and they’ll sit deep and make life difficult for us which makes the game slower.
“Two teams play the game and if Raith come and have a go that’ll give us more space to play into so the game becomes faster for example, if Fashion Sakala and Ryan Kent are running into space.
“If they come and sit back then we’ll have to be patient and find a way of playing closer together.
“Every game’s different. I think the two games we played in Edinburgh recently, fair play to Hearts and Hibs, they came and really tried to face us head on and it made for two excellent games of football.”
Beale insists there is “no hangover” from the 2-1 Viaplay Cup final defeat by Old Firm rivals Celtic at Hampden Park last month.
The former QPR boss said: “This season has given some disappointment but in the Scottish Cup, none of that counts.
“What counts is that we have a quarter-final on the weekend at home.
“A home draw in a quarter-final is a favourable draw for Rangers and we just need to make sure we’re at our best and we get ourselves back to Hampden for a semi-final.
“There’s no hangover, I don’t think that’s healthy. I just think we have to be focused on retaining this trophy.
“I think if we play to our true level then we’ve got a really good chance of doing that.