Despite their Scottish Cup exploits last season, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr believes he has a better calibre of player at his disposal to lead the team forward this year.
The Saughton-based outfit got their Qualifying League Cup Group A campaign off to a flyer on Saturday with a 7-0 dismantling of Eyemouth United down in the Borders – striker Sean Wringe the standout player netting an impressive hat-trick.
Carr’s men came within 90 minutes of a glamour Scottish Cup fourth-round tie with Premiership champions Celtic last season but lost out to East Kilbride 2-0 in their third-round replay. And, although they won’t have the chance to replicate their heroics this term, Carr says he is relishing the opportunity to work with some real quality in the months ahead.
“Losing so many players from last season, people were going round saying we’re finished and that we’re going to struggle. But, I think the squad we’ve put together is stronger than what we had last season,” Carr explained. “I think there are going to be some real good partnerships developing and some of the lads are going to make a real name for themselves.
“We’re not involved in the Scottish Cup this year as that place has gone to Leith but good luck to them and I really hope they can go on and have a decent run themselves. The squad isn’t going to get the opportunity of a run in the Scottish this year so the league is the most important competition for us.”
Lothian welcome Burntisland Shipyard for the second round of fixtures in League Cup Group A tomorrow night.
“It’s a short turnaround from Saturday but we’ll be looking for another three points. We’ll just take it one game at a time. We’ve got a job to do so hopefully we’ll get the right result,” Carr added.
Ormiston’s Group A encounter with Burntisland on Saturday was postponed so their first outing will be at Peebles Rovers tomorrow night.
In Group B, Heriot-Watt University new boss Banji Koya registered his first win at the weekend with a 2-0 victory over Tynecastle at Riccarton. The Watt are in action tonight at Meadowbank up against league champions Leith Athletic.