Dalkeith Thistle boss Kevin Haynes insists his side have to handle the occasion in front of a big home crowd if they are to make it through to the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup.
The odds are stacked against the Jags when they travel west to take on Super First Division outfit Petershill tomorrow. Haynes is expecting a big home backing at the artificial Petershill Park and believes his men can’t afford to wilt under pressure.
Dalkeith were cruising 3-0 at Hurlford United in the fourth round last season, only to lose out 5-3, with Haynes blaming their inability to handle a vociferous home crowd.
“We were 3-0 up at Hurlford last season and Mikey Hunter came off injured and that upset the whole side,” said Haynes, who watched Petershill last week as the Jags were idle.
“It was a big crowd that day and they started getting on their backs and we got freaked out by the occasion.
“They have to play the occasion – it’s maybe not so much for nice, pretty football through in the centre of Glasgow on astroturf. We need to win our individual battles, that’s what we failed to do against Hurlford – we should’ve managed the game a bit better.
“It’s winning their battles and not letting anyone else affecting them. I’m confident that we’ll score goals, it’s keeping them out and defending well when we’re under pressure from a good side and a big crowd.”
Haynes will have to do without two of his most experienced players in striker Paul Tansey and midfielder Dean Whitson, who are both on holiday.
Elsewhere, South Division Craigroyston will be aiming to cause a cup shock when they travel to Super League Musselburgh in an all-east tie. Edinburgh United and Tranent are both at home, hosting Dunipace and Longside, respectively. Penicuik Athletic and Bo’ness United are both in Ayrshire with visits to Craigmark Bruntonians and Dalry Thistle.