League Cup final is key to Leith Athletic’s treble bid

Derek Riddel
Derek Riddel
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Leith Athletic boss Derek Riddel hopes tomorrow’s East of Scotland League Cup final is just the start of a triumphant fortnight for the Meadowbank-based club.

The league champions face Tynecastle at Christie Gillies Park (3pm kick-off) before they take on Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in a potential league decider at Saughton Enclosure next Saturday.

Leith and Lothian then face each other for a second time in just seven days when the two heavyweights clash in the King Cup final on May 20.

However, Riddel has warned his players against any complacency.

“I think everybody would rather be in our shoes because for a lot of clubs the season has been over for a number of weeks,” he said.

“We’re still in with a shout of winning three trophies so if somebody had said that to me at the start of the season that we’d be three games away from winning the league and two cups then I certainly would have accepted that.

“We’ve worked hard all season to get there and now it’s just a case of finishing it off. The league is our main priority but it’s always good to pick up as many trophies as you can.

“If we can get that trophy in the bag then it may take the pressure off us a wee bit ahead of next Saturday before we play in the King Cup final. Winning cup finals breeds confidence so once that’s over we can focus on the other two.”

Tynecastle manager Stevie Vinter, meanwhile, says the 7-2 defeat by Leith 11 days ago in the semi-final of the King Cup will have no bearing on how his side approach tomorrow’s tie.

“Leith know as well as we do that it was never a 7-2 game,” he said. “But at the end of the day that’s what goes down on paper. We have to focus on ourselves. We know if we play to the best of our ability then there is no reason why we can’t win the match.

“I think some silverware is the least the players deserve this season. It’s not for myself or the coaching staff because the guys have given us everything. It’s been a long season with a few challenges along the road but we’ve overcome them and finished the season really strongly.”