COWDENBEATH can close the gap on Raith Rovers to six points if they record a home win this Saturday.

After six straight defeats at Central Park, Cowden will be desperate to produce the form which shocked Championship promotion favourites Hamilton Accies at the weekend.

Cowden hit four past Hamilton and it could have been more so manager Jimmy Nicholl will be looking for a repeat against Rovers, who were out of action when their game against Alloa was put off due a flooded Stark’s Park.

And Cowden could have six new players in their ranks.

While full-back Davie Cowan and striker Andy Russell have this week left Central Park, goalkeeper Seb Usai has signed from a Swedish club and Niorthern Irish midfielder Sammy Stewart has joined after a spell with Aberdeen. They join James Fowler, Chris Kane and Darren Brownlie.

After taking ten points from four successive away matches Cowdenbeath might have preferred this game to be at Kirkcaldy on Saturday but Mr Nicholl thinks that there should be no reason why his team cannot produce their away form on their own park.

He was delighted with the win at Hamilton, “After the game the players were arguing in the dressingroom about losing three goals.

“Yes we might have done a bit better at a couple of them but the fact was we scored four away from home against one of the challengers so that is a very good return.

“Some of our play was really good and the finishing of Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings top class.

“However, as has happened in recent games we lost some players through injury and it meant we had to change things a bit and in the closing ten minutes we lost two goals.

“However, the lads kept their heads brilliantly and closed the game out and it was an excellent three points.” He added, “The first hour was a dream, we hardly gave them a kick of the ball in that period of the game but losing players to injury did mean having to shuffle things about like pulling Jon Robertson back to right-back, Kenny Adamson and Nat Wedderburn going into the middle of the defence and Dean Brett at left-back, but they all did well.” The manager made it plain that home points are needed to haul clear of trouble.

“We have seven home games left and really need to start winning some of them to get ourselves up the table and we have the chance to start this on Saturday against Raith,” he added, “Our attacking play at Hamilton posed the second top team so many problems and if we can repeat that quality we can definitely win this Saturday.” Having let Marc McKenzie join East Fife and with Andy Russell and Cowan away, Mr Nicholl has added more players as he revamps the squad.

He will have new signings midfielders Chris Kane and James Fowler and central defender Darren Brownlie, definitely in action this Saturday and he is hoping that Usai and Stewart will also be available.

Fowler’s experience had a very calming effect in the closing minutes on Saturday and Kane’s hard tackling allied to the defensive steadiness of Brownlie could be key elements against Rovers.

Meanwhile Cowdenbeath will be hoping that injured midfielder Jamie Stevenson is fit for the derby along with strikers Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart, but skipper John Armstrong, is looking very doubtful with a calf knock.

Mr Nicholl will be desperate to be able to field his dangerous front two against Raith but Armstrong’s influence is also very important.

The front men are likely to be OK and Armstrong (calf strain) will be given every chance to make what is one of the most important derby fixtures in recent times, while Thomas O’Brien will stand-by.