Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Raymond Carr believes the underdog term is something his team will relish heading into tonight’s William Hill Scottish Cup second round replay with Montrose at Links Park (7.45pm kick-off).
Lothian’s preparations for the game have been dealt a blow with the news that captain Grant Munro (knee), Eddie Mearns (suspended) and Scott Moffat (collapsed lung) will not be making the trip.
But although Carr acknowledges the loss of these three key players is a blow to their aspirations of securing a third-round date with Highland League Huntly, earlier-round victories over Junior sides Girvan and Kelty Hearts have given the players the belief they can make a bit of history.
“It was always going to be a tough ask for Grant to make the replay after injuring his knee in the first match, Eddie is suspended and Scott Moffat got injured against Coldstream on Saturday and we’re looking at about six to eight weeks out for him,” said Carr.
“But we thrive on being the underdogs, nobody gave us much chance against Girvan in the replay and we won that and then people expected us to get turned over by Kelty and we won that.”
Carr also accepts some observers may feel Lothian have missed their chance to progress after the 1-1 draw at Saughton two weeks ago, but he knows the pressure is just as high on Paul Hegarty’s side who defeated Berwick Rangers 4-1 at the weekend and resulted in the dismissal of manager Colin Cameron.
“Paul has been very complimentary towards us since the first game, but he’ll know the pressure is probably bigger on them because they are the League Two club.
“They got a great result on Saturday so they’ll be ready for us, I know they took some criticism from their own supporters after the first game because they expected them to turn us over.
“We could’ve won at Saughton but we didn’t and to still be in the cup is a massive achievement.”
Carr was not happy with the attitude of his side after Saturday’s 2-1 East of Scotland League win over Coldstream at Saughton and believes cool heads will be needed tonight.
“There was a lot of shouting and indiscipline at the weekend and I wasn’t happy with that. We won the game, but I’d have rather lost and seen them come off the field disappointed and eager to make amends.”
“The desire and the passion of the players will never be questioned, but you have to retain your composure for big games like this.”
Carr could give a debut to former Hibs Development Squad striker Taylor Hendry tonight, the 20-year-old having been signed at the weekend.