Colin Nish recognises importance of Linlithgow cup tie to supporters, but says the Lowland League is their main focus
Nish, who took over at Foresters Park in September last year, initially had aspirations of breaking into the top four, but recent form has sent Tranent top of the table and they want to remain there, with dreams of becoming back-to-back league champions.
The Belters host East of Scotland Premier pacesetters Linlithgow Rose in a mouthwatering South Challenge Cup fourth round tie on Saturday, but former Hibs striker Nish says the league is their main focus.
"We are at the top of the league at the moment, obviously there is a couple of teams around us that have got opportunities and we all have different run ins so there will be a few twists and turns between now and the end of the season,” said Nish. “We are in a good position to go for it; I am quite happy where we are now compared to where we were when we came in.
“We didn't have plans on trying to get to the top of the table, I think if we managed to fit in the top four outwith the development squads, we would have been happy with that. We have ended up in a position now, with eight or nine games to go, where it would be silly for us to settle for that. We are definitely going for it now, it will be difficult but being a point clear at the top of the league, it would be silly to say we didn't want to go for it.
"Linlithgow is one of those teams who I always thought were one of the top clubs and I am sure that they are. They played against Raith Rovers recently and put up a good account of themselves. I am sure it will be a difficult game, it's a big game for our supporters and their supporters, but I think in all honesty, our main focus is on the league. It gives us an opportunity to get a break from the league, and we obviously want to win every game that we play in but it's not our main focus.
“We will give players an opportunity to play players that haven't played a lot. We have a strong squad were everyone is capable of going in and stepping in to the first eleven. There will be a wee bit less pressure on us than what the league has been giving us every week, but at the same time we do know it's a big game.”
Recent signing, striker James Keatings is pushing for a start after coming off the bench in Tranent’s last two league matches against Celtic B and Gretna FC 2008.
Nish added: “He played half an hour against Celtic and probably roughly the same last week, he's done really well. He hasn't played a lot of football recently so it will take time for him to get up to full speed, but at the same time it doesn't look like he is far away from where he should be. The team has been doing really well, we have a decent squad of 16 to 18 players who are all capable of starting.”