Edinburgh City boss James McDonaugh admits he is expecting a backlash from Irn-Bru Cup first-round south opponents Albion Rovers.
The SPFL League Two rivals will do battle for a second time in just ten days at Ainslie Park tonight, City having swept their opponents aside 4-0 in last weekend’s season opener.
However, McDonaugh is expecting a much sterner test from the Coatbridge-based club this time around.
“It will be totally different from the opening day of the season,” McDonaugh said. “If you beat a team 4-0 it’s not going to happen again so quickly. I think we’re prepared for a backlash. We’ll have to make a few changes as we’ve got a couple of injuries so we just need to try and get through the tie. They will be coming to prove a point.
“It’s one you’ve got to treat with respect but it’s probably the least of our priorities out of all the competitions. We don’t want to go out but equally we don’t want it to get in our way of trying to progress the team up the league.”
City lost to a solitary Shane Sutherland strike at Elgin on Saturday, but McDonaugh was upbeat about his players’ performance. He did, however, reveal that injuries are beginning to take their toll. Captain Josh Walker is likely to be out until the new year due to tendonitis in his knee, but McDonaugh also has fresh concerns over Gareth Rodger, John Dunn, Allan Smith and Andrew Black.
“It’s a challenge having to change the team and to still expect the same outcome, but my hands are tied with the injuries we have at the moment,” McDonaugh explained. “We’ve tried to change the way we play, a higher-tempo style of football. We might have to bring in one or two, maybe a couple of loan signings given our current health, but we’ll wait and see and keep an open mind.
“We were on a real high from the Albion result so we were desperate to build on that at the weekend. But the more I thought about it on the journey back we didn’t play that bad. We certainly did reach the heights of the Albion Rovers performance but I don’t think we deserved to lose the game. I think if we play like that more often than not then we’ll be okay.”