Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn will send his players out believing that they can pull off a stunning William Hill Scottish Cup shock in tomorrow’s third-round tie at home to Dumbarton.
Not surprisingly, the Junior side, who qualified through winning last season’s Super League title, aren’t favourites for the match at home to their Ladbrokes Championship visitors.
Underdogs often have their day, though, and Horn revealed there is belief building within the camp that they can produce their best to go one step further, with the hope of pulling a “dream” tie in the fourth round.
Pressure is often on Rose in the Junior game, but nobody is expecting them to triumph tomorrow. However, Horn says his players will put pressure on themselves to get a result
“There’s no pressure on us which makes a change. Nobody is expecting us to win but, at the same time, there’s a belief within our camp that we can get a result,” said Horn.
“We know that we need to perform to the best of our abilities and hope Dumbarton are maybe not just at it. That can happen and we’ve just got to believe we can do it.
“Pressure will come from within ourselves to go and get the result because we think we are capable of producing a shock. It’s alright saying that, it’s going out and doing it. Dumbarton are a good side. They’ve got good, experienced players in their team so it’s going to be really, really difficult.
“I’ll send them out telling them to show what they are capable of, believe they can win and go and enjoy it. It’s a great occasion for everyone connected with the club. I just want them to embrace it and believe they can win.”
Saturday provides Horn’s players with the opportunity to prove they can cut it against experienced opposition, but it’s also the chance for the fledging young manager to test himself against a league outfit for the first time in management.
Horn isn’t thinking about his future job prospects for a second, however. After turning down the Berwick Rangers job this time last year, his focus is solely on Rose for the time being.
He continued: “The team has done great to get to this stage, we’ve had a couple of really difficult games in Turriff and Cove. The dream is still there. Speaking to Charlie [Kirkwood, club chairman], his dream is going to Parkhead and playing against Celtic. You never know, that might happen if we get a result tomorrow. It’s great for the club to get a bit of prestige and a bit of following and, obviously for the players, to put themselves out there and some of them maybe in the shop window, you never know. For me, I want to do well for the club, the players and the supporters and the committee. That’s the most important thing to me at this moment.
“Senior football is incredibly difficult to get into and from my point of view, the opportunity has passed me by. In a sense, it’s an opportunity for me to show what I can do, but I don’t look at it like that.”
The former Hearts defender is adamant his side have to take their opportunities in front of goal if they are to progress. Having scored freely last season, his side have had to grind out two solitary one-goal victories in recent weeks.
“When things maybe aren’t going our way and they’ve got a bit of possession, we just have to dig in and see through those spells when they are going to be on top,” said Horn.
“When we get opportunities ourselves, we’ve got to stick them away.
“Too many times this season we’ve had opportunities in games and not taken them. We’ve created plenty but maybe not taken as many chances as we could.
“Especially against a Championship team, we’ve got to take our chances when they come. It’s so important that we make the most of our opportunities tomorrow.
“If we do get a result, we just hope we’re rewarded by getting that dream tie. That’s it for me, I’m just desperate for them to do well. They are a great bunch of guys. What they achieved last season was fantastic and in my view this is what they thoroughly deserve. I just hope they can go to the next level.”
Last season’s championship-winning captain Ross Archibald, who hung his boots up at the end of last season, has re-signed for Rose this week and goes straight into tomorrow’s squad.