Gary Jardine is looking forward to having a stronger Edinburgh City squad at his disposal for this weekend’s visit of Edinburgh University.
The champions return to Ferrari Packaging Lowland League duty after several regulars were unavailable for last Saturday’s 2-1 South Challenge Cup win over Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.
Their return is a welcome boost as City resume their title push tomorrow.
“We had three suspended on Saturday that was carried over from last year,” Jardine explained. “We’ll have Dougie Gair and Mark McConnell back. Joe Mbu’s got his second week back training under his belt but he’s maybe still a few weeks off. Ross Allum was carrying a knock at the weekend and we didn’t want to make that any worse so he sat out as a precaution.
“Him, Dougie and Mark will come back in to contention for tomorrow, but the guys who stepped in on Saturday probably took their chance – they did really well.”
Jardine also revealed skipper Gair will remain on penalty duty after Ousman See stepped up to net the winner from the spot on Saturday in his captain’s absence. “Dougie’s got 53 penalties out of 54” he said. “He’s only missed one, so he’ll still be on the penalties. Ouzy’s moved himself up to third place though!”
Jardine’s men will have to stop a player in form in Jack Guthrie. The University striker netted again last week, but Dorian Ogunro is confident of keeping hold of his top scorer.
“I don’t see him going anywhere,” he said. “He’s a Uni boy, he loves the club and he’s a doctor, so he’s got another few years! In terms of ability, he can easily step up a level, no question.”
Spartans can move into third place with a win over Preston Athletic at the Pennypit, leapfrogging East Kilbride, who are on Scottish Cup duty.
The Panners are unlikely to have a new manager in place, however, with applications for the top job having closed on Wednesday.
Whitehill Welfare, meanwhile, are attempting to get their South Challenge Cup tie against Duns played at the third time of asking.