Lothian in great shape for cup tie at East Kilbride

Raymond Carr. Picture: Andy O'Brien

Raymond Carr. Picture: Andy O'Brien

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Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr is not concerned about any festive hangover affecting his players ahead of this weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round trip to East Kilbride.

The Capital side will be looking to book a place in the last 16 and keep a cup dream run going during which they have knocked out League Two side Montrose and Highland League outfit Huntly.

With the East of Scotland League champions returning to competitive action after the three-week festive break, Carr says his players have been kept ticking over during Christmas and New Year as they look to claim another scalp against the team which knocked them out of the competition last season in the first round.

Carr said: “It hasn’t been easy with the bad weather. We’ve had to fix up training sessions. We have been able to train on the 3G at Riccarton but the pitch at Saughton is heavily saturated and we’ve been unable to make use of it.

“But we’ve had friendly matches against Spartans and Broxburn, and came out on top in both games, so we’ll be fully prepared for Saturday. Everyone is looking forward to it and it’s all about which team turns up and performs well on the day.”

Carr admits East Kilbride do hold an edge in terms of having played a competitive fixture last Saturday, a 1-1 draw with Cumbernauld Colts in the Lowland League. But he knows the gap between Lowland and East of Scotland will count for very little this weekend.

“It’s just as big a match for them as it is for us. Like us, they have surprised a few people in the competition with the result they got against Stenhousemuir.

“We played them pre-season and we’ve been invited back to play them at the end of this season so there’s a good relationship already between both clubs.

“They’ve got great facilities at the K Park Training Complex and they’re doing well in the Lowland League.

“But it’s all about what quality of player you have on the park and we know with the results we’ve had in the competition already, we’re a match for anyone.”