Linlithgow Rose manager David McGlynn and his assistant Calvin Shand have been meticulous in their plot to give Premiership Ross County a run for their money.
They have studied countless matches, been handed reports off several of their contacts in the senior game including John Robertson at Hearts, while they also attended last week’s League Cup semi-final between County and Celtic, all with the aim of giving their part-time players the best possible chance of success in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
They may be a part-time outfit but their professionalism is unquestionable.
“We don’t fear anybody, especially the Junior teams, but see if we can give the players a little bit information on who they are playing against, or formations or their strengths and weaknesses, it’s only going to help them,” said former Hibs Under-17s coach Shand. “It’s something we always do, whether it be a league game or whether it be Ross County in the Scottish Cup. It’s part of our jobs and I don’t think we’d be doing our jobs right if we never gave the players that information.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable task to play against them. We’ve looked at them and we know what their strengths are, there’s not many weaknesses to be honest but we’ll wait and see when Saturday comes.”
Shand came through the youth ranks at Easter Road and was part of the team which contained the likes of Steven Whittaker, Kevin Thomson, Scott Brown, Derek Riordan and Garry O’Connor before he was released at 18 after being on the fringes of the first team.
He went on to span a career in the lower leagues with Peterhead, Cowdenbeath and Berwick Rangers before McGlynn snapped him up for Musselburgh Athletic.
Shand was part of a Peterhead side which were trounced 5-0 by Rangers at Ibrox ten years ago in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. He and Rose will be hoping to avoid a similar result against their top-flight hosts tomorrow.
He added: “We’re not really expected to do anything at all, so it’s a case of we can just go and relax, be ourselves and enjoy it a wee bit.
“I’ve experienced it [the Scottish Cup] as a player, so now going in as a management team will be slightly different, but I’m still looking forward to it.”