Gary Naysmith fires Elgin warning to his Edinburgh City players
Having secured the League Two runner's-up spot despite a 2-1 loss to Stranraer earlier this week, the Citizens head for Borough Briggs tomorrow for their first round first-leg tie with the Angus club as they strive for promotion to Scottish football's third tier.
Naysmith's side has already chalked up two victories over their opponents since the league's resumption in March – a 2-1 win on the road in what was his first game in charge before a 2-0 success at Ainslie Park just six days ago.
However, the former Queen of the South and East Fife boss is taking nothing for granted.
"The games against Elgin since we took over are in the past," he explained. "Yes, we managed to beat them twice but that doesn't mean we are going to do it again. We're expecting a tough two games but we can go into the tie confident. They've just beaten Queen's Park this week so they deserve a lot of credit. Elgin, ourselves and Stranraer have all finished on 38 points so that tells you there's nothing between the three of us.
"I think the side that turns up on the day, who makes the least mistakes and manages the game better, will go through so a lot of these things will come into it. We go up to Elgin in good heart but the players should be confident that they've finished the second-best team behind Queen's Park."
Naysmith is hoping to have a healthier squad to choose from than the one that made the trip to Stair Park on Tuesday where he made eight changes. However, skipper Craig Thomson and goalkeeper Calum Antell are expected to return.
"There were a lot of changes on Tuesday night but they were enforced upon me to be honest," Naysmith said. "We had six players that couldn't have played at Stranraer and a couple who were 50/50 so the squad was as strong as I had going down there. Hopefully the players we didn't take a risk with on Tuesday night will be fit for tomorrow.
"We're now going into cup football if you like or a two-legged cup semi-final. I'm never one to set up to try and get a draw. We are going up there to win but whether we can win both games I don't know. We'll need to be at our best to get through the tie but we're all looking forward to it and that's what I've said to the players. When we all came together seven weeks ago, we were five points off the play-offs, but we've made it so embrace it. We wanted to finish second and we managed to so that is an achievement in itself.
"Our target now is to try and get into League One and the first step is to try and beat an Elgin team over two legs. We'll deal with the first leg and then worry about the second leg on Tuesday."