Ex-Hearts bosses sent on spy missions by Linlithgow

Linlithgow manager David McGlynn, right, with his assistant Billy McAdam
Linlithgow manager David McGlynn, right, with his assistant Billy McAdam
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Linlithgow Rose boss David McGlynn has revealed he’s enlisted the help of two former Hearts managers to ensure his side are fully prepared for tomorrow’s William Hill Scottish Cup third-round tie away to Wick Academy.

McGlynn is leaving no stone unturned in his preparation for the match at Harmsworth Park against the Highland League outfit, with former Tynecastle bosses John Robertson and John McGlynn having compiled reports for the Prestonfield manager in recent weeks.

The squad will begin their trip north today, stopping overnight in nearby Brora before completing their 250 mile journey on Saturday morning. Such a professional attitude to their build-up is essential with a potential glamour tie lying in wait if they can return victorious.

“They were both Premier League managers, so it’s good to have these people there who can do these things for me. If you don’t ask, you don’t get and they were both quite happy to watch Wick for me,” said McGlynn.

“I’ve had them watched twice and they are a good side. We’ll need to be on our toes and we’ll need to be switched on. The club is doing their best to make sure we are looked after, so we are going in the right direction.

“It’s a game we are more than capable of going and winning. The incentive is there to get into the next round and maybe get a possibility of a Celtic, Rangers, Hibs or Hearts, so the potential is there for there to be a big one for us.”

Rose left-back Chris Gray can’t wait for an encounter he has described as his “biggest ever match”, although it’s a trip that he’d have wished to avoid with girlfriend Chelsea Stevenson having already arranged her 21st birthday bash in Musselburgh prior to the draw being made. Thirty-year-old Gray is having to ask a big favour off one of his friends who is driving him back to East Lothian just so he can make the last few hours of the party at the Ravelston House – a deal which has cost him £100.

“It’s the worst possible draw for me as I’m going to miss most of my girlfriend’s birthday party so I’m not in the best books just now,” joked Gray. “Hopefully we can get the job done then I can get back down the road and have a double celebration. When the draw was made I just knew we would get the furthest away team.”

Gray could never have expected to be playing in the Scottish Cup this season having made the move from Haddington Athletic to hometown Tranent Juniors in the summer, before McGlynn prised him away from Foresters Park in August.

He’s hopeful the West Lothian men can make it through but he’s not looking ahead to a possible clash against one of Scotland’s top sides just yet, with his focus solely on overcoming Wick.

He said: “It’s a massive game; this is probably the biggest game of my career. I’ve never been this far in the Scottish before and I’m really looking forward to it.

“One of the reasons I joined the club was to get a crack at the Scottish. It made it easy to sign when I had the chance of playing in the big cup, we aren’t going to win it but hopefully we can get a good run and get a big team. It would be good to get past this round and get one of the big ones.

“We need to get by Wick first though, they aren’t going to be any mugs. I’ve heard they are a decent side and we need to take care of this game first before we look ahead.”

The former Cowdenbeath and Ross County defender has flourished since moving up two tiers to join the Super League men and he has particularly enjoyed the freedom his boss has given him to roam up the left flank.

He added: “I love it here so far and I feel I’m still getting better. I love the way Davy plays – I’m a full back but I play like a left winger. It’s the perfect formation for me because it leaves that space for me just to bomb forward. I’ve never played at a club where two full backs go right up at the same time.”