Having already lost the chance to progress to the latter stages of one cup competition this week, Kevin Twaddle says his Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale side will be fired up by the prospect of gaining a semi-final spot in the Central Taxis League Cup when they host Leith Athletic tomorrow.
Newly-crowned Premier Division champions Lothian were defeated 3-2 by First Division title winners Hibs in the King Cup second round after leading 2-0 with ten minutes to go, but Twaddle and his men are now focused on “the big one” as the League Cup looms large on their horizon.
Lothian know that, with victory over Leith tomorrow, they will be handed the chance of revenge over Hibs with a semi final meeting at East Mains on Monday.
“The boys are professional enough to know that the season is not over,” said Twaddle. “They know the League Cup is the big one to win, and this match gives us the opportunity to reach another big semi final.”
Twaddle was disappointed by his club’s failure to gain admission to the Lowland League earlier this week as Edinburgh University and Glasgow side Broomhill SC took the two available slots for next season. However, the manager remains determined to guide his side to a higher league in time.
“Obviously you want to play at a higher level, but next year’s goal will remain the same – to hold onto that league trophy,” said Twaddle.
Lothian’s only doubt for tomorrow’s match at Saughton Enclosure is Grant Munro.
Meanwhile, Spartans will target a last-four meeting with Craigroyston when they travel to Stirling University to fulfil a fixture that was postponed in midweek.
Alex Cunningham’s side go into the quarter-final tie in confident mood having emerged victorious from their last outing, a league win at Tynecastle two weeks ago.
“We played well against Tynecastle and showed good commitment in winning the game,” said Cunningham. “Stirling University are a very good side and will provide us with a tough test having themselves come off the back of a victory against Lothian.”
The Ainslie Park’s club’s East of Scotland outfit are without their recognised central defensive pairing of Connor Armstrong and Lewis Kidd, who are both injured, while Sebastian Pyda and Haydn Crane are also out for tomorrow’s tie.
Boss Cunningham has recruited Roderick MacLeod from the club’s amateur team to act as defensive cover.