Junior Cup: Linlithgow aim to pull off ‘tactical masterstroke’

Todd Lumsden and assistant Steven Hislop have left Linlithgow
Todd Lumsden and assistant Steven Hislop have left Linlithgow
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Linlithgow Rose assistant manager Steven Hislop has demanded that his players stand up and be counted as he warned they’ll be entering a “lions’ den” at Auchinleck Talbot’s Beechwood Park in the second leg of their Scottish Junior Cup semi-final.

Hislop insists they’ll need to be able to handle a hostile home crowd if they wish to make it through to the final in June. The tie is on a knife-edge as Rose head to Ayrshire knowing any method of victory will send them through after the a 0-0 draw at Prestonfield last weekend.

“We are going to need a bit of luck to get through,” said Hislop, assistant to Rose boss Todd Lumsden.

“We are still in the tie, it’s 0-0 and anything can happen. We had them watched and we knew they were a good team. We are going through to do a job and we’re only 90 minutes from a cup final. All they have his home advantage with a tight park and what will be a hostile atmosphere. There’s everything to look forward to, there’s nothing to be apprehensive about. There will be nerves but it’s just a one-off game now.

“This is going to be a bear pit on Saturday, we are going into the lions’ den. It’s going to be hostile and the crowd will be right on top of us. We’ve just got to relish it and the experienced boys to get the young boys by the scruff of the neck and tell them to concentrate on playing the game, not the occasion. We need our big players to show a bit of character. We’ll need men tomorrow.”

Rose pulled of a surprise tactical move last week, opting for three at the back in a 3-4-2-1 formation and Hislop has revealed they have another trick up their sleeve for tomorrow.

He added: “They are effective with how they play and we caught them off guard because we changed our formation last week. We are going to need everybody to play well on Saturday and them to have an off day for us to win.

“We’ve watched the game back and we’ve seen areas we can exploit that we possibly didn’t see before. There might be a few surprises and if they come off then it will be a tactical masterstroke.”