Linlithgow free to play own game against Forfar

Linlithgow manager David McGlynn admits tomorrow's tie might be a bit 'cat and mouse'
Linlithgow manager David McGlynn admits tomorrow's tie might be a bit 'cat and mouse'
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Linlithgow Rose boss David McGlynn believes his side will relish their underdog tag as they’ll be able to go out and play their own game at home to League One Forfar.

Rose host Gary Bollan’s side at Prestonfield tomorrow (kick-off 1.30pm) as they bid to make history by becoming the first Junior club to reach the last 16 of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

With the prospect of a glamour fixture lying in wait against one of Scotland’s top clubs, McGlynn won’t need to gee up his players too much for the early-afternoon clash, after seeing his side dispose off Gala Fairydean Rovers, Clachnacuddin and Wick Academy on their march to the fourth round.

McGlynn is expecting the Loons to play an attacking game and believes that will suit his side.

“It’s good to be an underdog for once because we’ve being going into most games where we’ve been favourites and most likely to win games,” he said.

“I don’t think we’ve been outplayed any time this season – it’s just us not finishing teams off and shooting ourselves in the foot which has cost us this year.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be the underdogs and on our home patch as well which is good because we’re that used to teams coming to Prestonfield and sitting in and playing 4-5-1 against us and us having to break them down. It might be a bit cat and mouse and we’ll keep them quiet for as long as we can.”

Experience within the Rose ranks certainly won’t be an issue with several members of the squad having played in the senior ranks earlier in their career, most notably former Hearts and Raith player Graham Weir.

The West Lothian outfit have a potent mix of youth, experienced Junior players and former senior pros who are unlikely to be fazed by the occasion.

Indeed, Rose flourished against Championship side Raith Rovers despite going down 2-0 in the third round last season and were unfortunate not to emerge victorious against a side deemed to have too much for the Prestonfield men.

“Hopefully, that’s what will happen tomorrow where you think there’s going to be a big gulf and the big team doesn’t have the mental attitude thinking they are only playing a Junior side and we can put a good show,” said McGlynn.

“They would’ve wanted us that’s for sure, they’ll be thinking they can win the game. We will prepare as we do every game in making sure we have a gameplan in mind and trying to get the boys to stick to it. If we can do that then we might get a wee upset. The players need to get in their mind that they can make themselves heroes and be legends if they want to do that and hopefully then get a home draw against a Celtic, Rangers, Hibs or Hearts in the next round, which is a big thing.”

McGlynn admits there is a sense of the unknown about how Forfar will line up tomorrow given it’s just Bollan’s second match in charge since replacing long-serving boss Dick Campbell last month.

Forfar’s match away to Brechin was called off last weekend and a spying mission to see Forfar take on league leaders Dunfermline on Boxing Day gave McGlynn little insight into how they’ll play.

He added: “They’ve got good players. I don’t know what Gary’s going to do, though, because we don’t know what they’ve done or who has been training, so it’s a wee bit frustrating that we never got to watch them last Saturday.

“We’ll just need to try to put a game plan together from what I’ve seen so far. On our day, we can be great and we’ll need to be great to be close to Forfar because it’s going to be a very difficult football game.”

Rose faced Falkirk Juniors in a friendly last week with new striker Conor Kelly, who arrived from Super League rivals Sauchie last month, bagging a hat-trick in a 4-1 win. The youngster could be thrown in for his competitve debut tomorrow. McGlynn has a full squad other than long-term absentee Roddy MacLennan.