Penicuik Athletic skipper Craig Hume played in front of 49,000 at Ibrox so he doesn’t expect a trip to Kilbirnie Ladeside’s Valefield Park to faze him.
Despite having never faced a West-based club away from home in the Scottish Junior Cup, Hume is well versed to deal with what will be a hostile visit to North Ayrshire tomorrow.
The 30-year-old played against Rangers in the Glasgow club’s first home match in the Third Division back in 2012 for East Stirlingshire after stepping up from amateur football with Lochend.
“I’ve never played through there at all in the Juniors,” said Hume ahead of their second-round tie. “It’ll be an experience going through – I’m pretty sure it will be hostile. We just need to focus on the game and let the football do the talking.
“I think it was our second game of the season we played against Rangers at Ibrox. I can’t remember much of the game – it was a bit of a blur, it just passed me by. We went ahead early on but ended up getting beat 5-1. Kilbirnie won’t faze me one bit.”
Centre-back Hume returned to the starting line-up last weekend after a three-game absence due to a holiday and a spell injured.
It wasn’t the return he’d hoped for as Penicuik suffered their first defeat of the season to bring their 12-game unbeaten run to a shuddering halt as they went down meekly to Lochee United, losing 3-0 and with it their place at the top of the Super League table.
Hume continued: “It was a nightmare game, a poor performance all-round I think, but more so myself; I was disappointed in myself.
“We’ve got that good a squad where one change shouldn’t have affected the outcome of the game. Losing one game we’re not going to look too much into it. We just need to bounce back and be confident of getting the win.
“With the character that we’ve got in the changing room, last Saturday won’t affect us. The boys will bounce back positively and we’ll go into the game on Saturday like we go into any game. We’re looking to put it behind us and put us in the next round.”
Tomorrow’s match has a ‘tie of the round’ feel to it with Kilbirnie having started the campaign in fine form themselves, sitting second top of the Super League Premier Division, the top tier in the West region.
Hume added: “A few of the boys were saying we could’ve done with an easy tie, but I quite like the big ties. You want to progress as far as you can in the competition but you need to beat the big teams at some point. It’s the Junior Cup and it’s what you want to play in.
“I don’t know much about them but the west is a strong league, so it’s probably one of the tougher ties we could’ve got. They’ll be decent, they’ll be very strong, but I’m confident that if every one of our players are on it we’ll give them a game.”
Cuikie manager Johnny Harvey, Hume’s brother-in-law, is hopeful his side will have given visiting Kilbirnie scouts a false sense of their capabilities last weekend against Lochee.
Harvey said: “We had planned to go and watch them but their game was off. Hopefully, they’ve watched us and they think we’re a poor side and they have every chance of beating us, because that wasn’t us at all, that was nowhere near the standards we’ve set this season.
“If they are professional in their approach they’ll certainly look at the league table and think we’re not as bad as we were on Saturday. Who knows, they could be complacent, and we can capitalise on it.
“I’m not going to get too carried away with a defeat. There is some selections to make, a few close calls, but there is not going to be wholesale changes. Hopefully, we turn up on Saturday and show people how good a team we are. We got a wee taste for it last season, so hopefully we can go one step further, or two or three!”