Brian Graham: Whole of Turriff will be cheering against Hibs
Hibs striker Brian Graham admits he doesn't know too much about Turriff United other than tomorrow's trip to The Haughs meaning an early rise for Neil Lennon's squad.
While a number of his team-mates have been excused the 500-mile round trip for the Irn-Bru third-round tie, striker Graham is one of those pencilled in for the journey alongside the likes of goalkeeper Ofir Marciano, Jordan Forster, Alex Harris and Martin Boyle.
But there’s no complaint on Graham’s part, the former Ross County hitman desperate to keep on the goal trail having got off the mark by scoring Hibs’ fourth in their comprehensive Championship victory against Morton, one which sent the Capital club out on their own at the top of the table.
And if tomorrow is something of a step into the unknown for many of Lennon’s players, Graham does have some first-hand experience of Highland League football, revealing: “I haven’t been to Turriff but I played at quite of few of the grounds when playing friendlies for Ross County.
“I have a rough idea of what it’s going to be like and I know it won’t be easy. They’ll probably have a few ex-pros in their side, they’ll be well organised and will make it tough for us.
“I’d imagine the Turriff boys have been looking forward to this game since the draw was made, it will be like their cup final. I’m sure the whole town will turn out to support their local club but it is a case of us showing them the respect they deserve, to show the right attitude and hopefully we’ll get the job done.”
Lennon will take a squad of 18 north but has admitted a few fringe players are likely to be given a run-out as some first team regulars are given a break but, Graham insisted, those youngsters will take the game in their stride.
He said: “These guys are at Hibs for a reason, the gaffer must believe in them and having seen some of the young boys in training an I have been impressed by them. I’m sure they will fit in well. It will be a good experience for them and they’ll really relish the chance to play for Hibs.”
Promotion to the Premiership is, of course, Hibs’ over-riding priority this season with the Irn-Bru Cup perhaps somewhere down the scale but, insisted Graham, victory tomorrow is the only focus.
He said: “Yes, promotion is number one, but you don’t go into a cup saying you don’t want to win it. I think the Challenge Cup has grown over the years and as far as I am concerned I want to try to win everything I am involved in.”