Blair Henderson: Edinburgh City can show off quality live on TV
Striker Blair Henderson reckons tonight's Irn-Bru Cup last-16 clash at Arbroath is an opportunity to show the rest of Scottish football that their table-topping performances aren't a fluke.
The Citizens take a break from their Ladbrokes League Two campaign where they can expect a stern test from the current League One leaders at Gayfield.
The Red Lichties are yet to lose in the league this season, while City’s solitary defeat came at Elgin City in August.
Tonight’s tie will be broadcast live on BBC Alba (kick-off 7.35pm) and Henderson, who has been a revelation since joining in the summer with 13 goals in 15 appearances, says he and his team-mates are desperate to show the rest of the nation that the club means business this season.
“We’re trying to grow the club on a wider scale so with the match being live on TV, people will have the chance to tune in and see how we play,” the 24-year-old said. “We like to play football the right way so hopefully that can encourage more people to come along on a Saturday.
“Arbroath are flying high at the moment, but so are we. Hopefully we can show what we’re capable of. It has the makings of a good tie. We’ve already played a League one club in Stranraer in the Betfred Cup and we turned in a good display that day and won 4-2, so hopefully we can match that. It will be a difficult game, but we’ll be giving it our best shot. You never know what can happen.”
Henderson admits his early-season goalscoring heroics have even caught him off guard. That said, he believes the chances will continue to come his way given the quality of player he has to work with on the pitch.
“I’m usually a slow starter when it comes to scoring goals early in the season but this year couldn’t have gone any better,” he said.
“I scored a lot of goals towards the end of last season when I was with Annan, so the last year or so I’ve been in the best form in my career. I really am enjoying it at Edinburgh City and I feel the way the team has been built it is going to keep giving me the chances to score.
“You have to go into games thinking you’re going to score. The boys are really confident just now, even going in against a higher league team. I must be up there as one of the top goalscorers in the country so it’s nice to be getting the plaudits for it. I know things can turn against you in a flash, so I’m just trying to enjoy it while I can.
“I wanted to score 20 goals before the season started, so that’s still my aim. I’ve never managed it before, so anything above that would be a bonus. I’ve been in situations where you can go on a run of games without scoring and it’s not a nice place to be.”
Although his immediate focus is firmly on tonight’s clash in Angus, Henderson revealed he would be disappointed were the club to finish outwith the top four given the amount of points amassed so far.
He said: “I don’t think anyone would have expected us to have taken 24 points out of a possible 27, so if you look at it like that, we’re punching above our weight. We all had hopes for the season, but it’s a difficult league where any side is capable of winning matches.
“We’re not going to take 24 points from each quarter, but if we can win more than we lose then we’ll be fine. Given the start we’ve had, I think if we were to miss out on at least a play-off place then it would be disappointing.”