Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine wants his players to be themselves in today’s SPFL promotion play-off first leg against Brora Rangers and play in the same manner they’ve done all season – even if it’s “naïve”.
City will look to gain the upper hand before next week’s second leg at Dudgeon Park, and Jardine wants them to play the kind of football that saw them run away with the Lowland League title this season.
“With it being over two legs, it’s brand new to us and something we’ve never really faced before,” he said. “We want to go up there with something to play for but because it’s new, we’ll maybe go in naïve and we’ll look to play in the manner that’s won us the league.
“We’ll go for it and hopefully get a good result. If we don’t progress through the two legs, then at least we’ll have been true to ourselves and that’s the message I’ll be sending out tomorrow – let’s be ourselves.”
Jardine admitted that City maybe focused too much in their opponents’ strengths when they met in the Scottish Cup back in November.
“We know what to expect having played them [in the cup]. I don’t think they were at their best that day and certainly we weren’t at our best either,” he said. “I’ll take a bit of the blame for that because I felt we probably spent a bit too much time looking at their qualities. We know they’ve one or two really good players, but what I’m looking for today is for us to show what we can do because it’s a fantastic opportunity”
The hosts haven’t gone into many games as underdogs this season, but Jardine believes that will suit his players just fine today.
“Up until Christmas we were still kind of seen as underdogs and people were looking at how we’d react to our first defeat,” he said. “We found it tough when teams raised their game against us around February/March. Brora went in to the season as champions so won’t have any bother with the favourites tag, and we’ll be the same as underdogs.”