Edinburgh City captain Robbie McIntyre ready to return after injury nightmare
Edinburgh City captain Robbie McIntyre hopes to bring newly-crowned League Two champions Kelty Hearts back down to earth – in his first match since he last faced the Fifers back seven months ago.
The 27-year-old is in line to make his first appearance for the Citizens since August after undergoing surgery on the ankle ligament damage he sustained in the 1-0 defeat to Kelty at New Central Park.
McIntyre has had to watch on from the sidelines as Kevin Thomson's men charged towards the title, last weekend's victory over Stenhousemuir confirming their promotion to League One with five games to spare.
City hope to join the Fife outfit in Scottish football's third tier next season where victory over their opponents at Ainslie Park tonight could go a long way to securing that coveted fourth and final play-off berth.
"Ideally, they'll have been out on the town every day since last Saturday," McIntyre quipped. "I fully expect them to treat this game like every other this season as they'll want to finish the way they've been all year. I think if they win all their remaining games, they can set a new points record so they have that to aim for.
"I'm certainly hoping to play. I've had a chat with the new gaffer and told him I feel ready. I think it's the right kind of game for me to make my comeback.
"We got very lucky last weekend with how the results panned out aside from our own game (2-0 defeat to Elgin) but we're not going to get many more chances. We can't afford any more bad days at the office."
McIntyre was included in the matchday squad at Borough Briggs but was an unused substitute. However, with defenders Michael Travis and Callum Crane having both been sent off, he is hopeful new manager Alan Maybury will give him the nod from the start tonight.
"It was great to be back in a matchday squad again for the first time since last August," McIntyre said. "But things just didn't go our way last week – even the journey up there was a road closure and we didn't arrive in Elgin until an hour before kick-off. It then from bad to worse finding ourselves two goals down early on and then having two players sent off. We know we'll have to do so much better if we're to get anything against Kelty.
"It's been a pretty rough year to be honest. I remember thinking back to when the injury happened that it wouldn't be as bad as it turned out to be. I thought I would be okay after a couple of weeks but six weeks later I was still in a lot of discomfort. So, I then knew I'd have to go and see a specialist to then being told I needed surgery. It was really frustrating because I live a very active lifestyle away from football.
"It's been a whirlwind. I've never been involved in a squad that has had so many long-term injuries. That has really defined our season and why our results have been so up and down. I think we're doing well to still be in that final play-off spot considering all the adversity at the club. I think we could have had Sir Alex Ferguson in charge and he wouldn't have fared much better! I think the previous gaffer did a good job when he was here but unfortunately that's football."