RIVAL managers David McGlynn and Max Christie have kissed and made up since they had a “tiff” earlier in the season.
Now Musselburgh manager McGlynn is hoping to help Bonnyrigg boss Christie cap a dream first season by lifting the Super League title tomorrow.
McGlynn’s main priority is securing the win his side need in their final game away to second-top Hill of Beath to stay in the top flight next season.
But he’s also well aware that result would kill off the Fifers’ hopes of catching Bonnyrigg as they head into the match, their last league game as well, trailing Christie’s men by two points.
“Max and I have had our tiffs in the past but they’ve been forgotten about,” said McGlynn. “In fact, I was on the phone to him this week as we are both going down to Largs in June to sit our B licence together.
“I hope Bonnyrigg go on to win the league and if we can help them do that by picking up three points on Saturday then I’ll be delighted.”
Musselburgh are heading to Hill of Beath under protest, having tried without success to get the game rescheduled due to the Scottish Cup Final.
As well as being Hearts or Hibs fans, some of McGlynn’s players were at either Easter Road or Tynecastle as youngsters. They are still friends with some of the Hearts and Hibs players and Burgh winger Paul Tansey is related to Leigh Griffiths.
“The League refused to change the fixture when we asked them,” said McGlynn. “We then tried Hill of Beath but they also said no.
“All my players are from the Edinburgh area, so they are more than likely either Hearts or Hibs fans, so it was only natural they wanted to go to Hampden.
“We have done our best to try and let them be there but we’ve been unsuccessful and, as contracted players to Musselburgh, we expect them to be at Hill of Beath for the game.
“It’s a nightmare situation, to be honest, but we have our own massive Cup Final, so to speak, as we are fighting to stay in the Super League.”
Burgh, last season’s Junior Cup finalists, looked to be heading for the relegation trapdoor until they won 3-0 at Bo’ness in their last league outing.
That moved them a point above Carnoustie, who have a game in hand, but a win this weekend would take the East Lothian side above Bathgate and guarantee safety.
“Football is a funny game,” declared McGlynn. “When we played Carnoustie two games ago, we played brilliant that day yet had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
“Then, against Bo’ness, we huffed and puffed and won that one 3-0.
“In fairness, we were helped when they had Jay Shields sent off for a straight red card offence after just 12 minutes.
“Those are the sort of decisions you sometimes need to go your way – and more often than not this season they’ve been going against us.”
A perfect case in point was Hill of Beath’s visit to Olivebank earlier in the season, when a controversial decision proved pivotal.
The home side earned an early penalty yet the referee didn’t deem the Hill of Beath player to be the last man.
Shortly afterwards, following a similar incident at the other end, Musselburgh had a man sent off and went on to finish the game with just eight players on the park as they lost 4-2.
In truth, it has been a struggle for Musselburgh ever since but McGlynn is asking his players to dig deep and come up with a match-winning performance tomorrow.
“I think Hill of Beath wanted this game to go ahead as they felt they could win the league against a weakened team due to us having players at the Cup Final,” he said.
“If anything, though, it has made the situation all the more frustrating for us and hopefully we can go over there and put on a good performance.”
Hopefully with a top-flight spot in the bag again, McGlynn will waste no time planning for next season but won’t have money to splash on new players. “I don’t think many people realise that it probably costs £10,000 a year to run a club like ours – and that’s not counting the wages for players,” he said.
“For instance, it costs £6,000 to hire our pavilion alone and then you’ve got a whole host of other costs on things like laundry etc.
“We’ve had to cut our cloth this season, moving some players on to bring money in.
“You simply can’t go over your budget and, therefore, I’ll be looking at a lot of under-21 players for next season.” In the only other top-flight game taking place tomorrow, defending champions Bo’ness bring their campaign to an end when they make the journey north to Carnoustie.