Edinburgh City defender Joe Mbu insists the recent criticism he has faced is water off a duck’s back.
The 34-year-old has been unfairly singled out by some opposing sides in SPFL League Two as the weak link in a City team that puts their league campaign on the backburner tomorrow as they visit East Fife on William Hill Scottish Cup third round duty.
But seasoned pro Mbu, who joined the Capital outfit from their Methil opponents in the summer of 2014, isn’t one to allow any snide remarks get the better of him.
“I find it funny to hear what some people have been coming out with recently,” the former Cowdenbeath man explained. “But I’ve had it my whole career to be quite honest with you. Opposing managers have made comments in the past about playing the ball down the line because they think I can’t turn and that their players can outrun me and get to the ball.
“But it’s rarely ever happened so it’s quite funny when you hear what these people come out with – especially when it’s from those people who have known you for years and know that isn’t the case.
“I like to think I’ve got an old enough head on to get myself into the right positions.”
Mbu not only sees this weekend’s clash at Bayview as the chance to be reunited with some old friends – he believes the tie also presents a real opportunity for Gary Jardine’s squad to progress to the next round.
“I’m looking forward to going back there again,” said Mbu, pictured.
“I really enjoyed my time there and the fans were always really good to me. When we played them in a pre-friendly season in July they were there shouting my name which was nice. It was just becoming a bit too far travel-wise but there’s still quite a few of the boys who were there when I was so it will be good to see them again.
“Obviously, the league is our bread and butter but progression in the Scottish Cup is still a huge ambition of ours. The chance to be paired with one of the biggest teams in Scottish football in the next round could set the club up for the next few years. We just need to go there and do our best and hopefully we’ll come away having progressed through to the next round.”
Having endured a troublesome start to life as an SPFL club following their play-off promotion victory over East Stirlingshire in May, the Meadowbank outfit have hit a bit of form recently and are now unbeaten in their last six matches albeit they are two points adrift at the foot of the division.
“I feel we should be confident with every game we approach. That’s the attitude I always step onto the park with, no matter who we’re playing,” Mbu said.
“The confidence has always been there. We’ve just been more frustrated with ourselves in the games we have lost. The attitude has been second to none, to be honest, and a breath of fresh air to be a part of.
“It felt like a defeat last weekend against Cowdenbeath even though we managed to get a point out of it.
“The goal we lost was avoidable and we really should have been out of sight by the time they did score. But that’s football and just the breaks you sometimes don’t get.”
Mbu was forced into postponing his retirement for another season at the very least following City’s promotion six months ago and says his decision to prolong his playing career has so far been vindicated.
“I am glad I’ve stayed on. I don’t know if my partner Janice is but I really want to help Edinburgh City establish themselves in the SPFL because I firmly believe that’s where the club belongs. There’s so much potential at the club with all the youth teams coming through. There’s a great set-up here and it’s important to remember that the vast majority of this season’s first-team squad have come through the club’s youth system. I think that bodes well for the future.”