Falkirk v

Raith Rovers

RAITH Rovers have failed - at least in the meantime - in a bold bid to bring back former Rangers striker Mark Hateley to Scotland.

Rovers manager Jimmy Nicholl telephoned Hateley shortly after the Englishman was sacked by Hull City to offer him a short-term contract. Nicholl said: ''I was testing the water, but Mark is still very fit and I think he could still do a job for somebody.

''I told him to give me a call if he fancied playing a few games, then a deal could be arranged. It would be better for him than just moping around the house.''

Hateley was sacked by the English third division strugglers this week.

The stumbling block for Raith is that the compensation Hateley expects from Hull still has to be agreed and he will not decide on his future until that is settled.

The former AC Milan and Monaco striker explained: ''I am not allowed to sign for anyone until compensation is agreed.

''I expect the matter to be resolved next week, then I am free to play for anyone who wants me.

''All offers will be considered, because I want to keep playing for as long as possible.

''Of course, I would love to play in Scotland. I'm fit and have played the last six games for Hull.

''I have been approached by a couple of clubs, but all I can say just now is watch this space.''

Meanwhile, for today's game against Falkirk at Brockville, Nicholl must do without Davie Bowman, who starts a four-game suspension.

Paul Hartley who has been having talks with Port Vale over the past few days, will be in the line-up as there still are a few threads to be tied up regarding his proposed move to the English first division club.

Falkirk manager Alex Totten is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. His side are going very well and he has arranged a closed-doors game early next week against Dundee United in a bid to get a few long-term injury victims back to full fitness.

Kevin James, Jamie McQuilken, and Martin Corrigan will all play in that game, but Totten keeps faith with the squad who beat Airdrie last week for Rovers' visit.

BOOKIES' VIEW: Falkirk 8-13, Raith Rovers 11-2, draw 5-2.