McLeish puts Musselburgh under starters orders again

Musselburgh player Lewis Turner is suspended
Musselburgh player Lewis Turner is suspended
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Musselburgh Athletic boss Stevie McLeish has challenged his players to go on another unbeaten run ahead of a double header with Linlithgow Rose in the Scottish Junior Cup semi-finals.

The Olivebank men travel to Broxburn Athletic’s Albyn Park tomorrow afternoon looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at home to league leaders Kelty Hearts last weekend – a result which ended a run of eight matches without defeat.

Burgh take on Linlithgow at Prestonfield in the first leg of their last four clash next Saturday and although he admits his side have one eye on the mouthwatering tie, first and foremost McLeish is seeking three points tomorrow.

“When a run comes to an end you can look to start a new one,” he said. “It was going to come to an end at some point. I look at it sometimes that when you are on a run like that, the pressure just mounts and mounts.

“It’s not something that you feel and it’s not something that’s tangible, but you are aware of it and you think ‘I don’t want the run to go now’ and suddenly it goes. We just need to regroup and go again.

“We’ve got to focus on tomorrow, but I’m not kidding on, the boys have half an eye on what’s coming and rightly so. It’s a big achievement for them getting to the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, but they’ve got to take care of business in front of them.”

McLeish will make changes to his side tomorrow, with midfielder Lewis Turner suspended and left-back Brian Martin only just back in training after picking up a rib injury in the quarter-final win over Penicuik. Several players will also be rested as a precaution due to Broxburn’s artificial surface.

He added: “I’m going to rest one or two because we’ve got two big games coming up and some boys need the chance to show what they can do.

“There’s one or two that I feel would benefit from not playing because it’s on astroturf and it takes a lot out of their legs and they are getting a bit older.

“Regardless of what team we put on the park, they’ll be fully focused on the job they are going to do and we’ll worry about the week after at training on Monday night.”