Spartans midfielder David Greenhill admits it was foolish to carry on during last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Gala Fairydean Rovers as he now runs the risk of missing this month’s William Hill Scottish Cup third-round clash with Ladbrokes Championship side St Mirren.
The 31-year-old has been forced to admit defeat in his battle to be fit for tomorrow’s South Challenge Cup third-round tie against city rivals Tynecastle – a strained knee ligament picked up in that match at Gala putting paid to his hopes of turning out at Saughton Enclosure this weekend.
However, with upcoming games against runaway league leaders East Kilbride, another local derby with East of Scotland champions Leith Athletic in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup, and a trip to the Paisley 2021 Stadium all within the next three weeks, Greenhill says he is desperate to play his part in a key spell of the season.
“I felt my knee sore last week but I just kept playing on which was pretty daft, to be honest,” he admitted. “I really should have come off. Now I’ve been left on the sidelines which might have been preventable had I come off. But I’m hoping to at least be back for the St Mirren match in two weeks time but it’s really frustrating because we’ve got some really big games coming up starting with Tynie tomorrow. I’ll be heading along though to cheer the boys on.
“We can’t really focus on St Mirren too much because we’ve got more important games to focus on. We are desperate to win a trophy this year so we’ll be giving it our all to get through tomorrow as it’s a big competition.
“We’ve probably dropped too many points this season in the league so cups are definitely a priority now.”
Meanwhile, Tynecastle boss Stevie Vinter has huge admiration for tomorrow’s opponents but insists his players have nothing to lose as they seek to cause an upset.
Tynie have shown they are a force to be reckoned with this season with a string of impressive displays as they challenge for the East of Scotland League title. They also lost out 3-1 to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in last month’s Alex Jack Cup final. But Vinter has full confidence in his squad, who are coming off the back of an fine 3-0 win at Stirling University last Saturday.
“It’s definitely our biggest test of the season so far and that’s no disrespect to the other teams we’ve faced,” he said.
“Spartans are third in the Lowland League and have a really experienced dressing-room. It’s a game we’ve got to look forward to as you want to test yourselves against the best sides and tomorrow obviously gives us the best opportunity to do that.
“We are massive underdogs but we’re coming off the back of what was probably our best performance of the season against Stirling last weekend. We were magnificent and 3-0 probably didn’t do us justice. We know Spartans are huge favourites and we’re still trying to find that consistency in our game despite it being a positive start to the season.
“We’ve prepared as normal. We approach every game in the same manner and that’s the way it’s got to be. We can’t make any allowances and say that Spartans is a bigger game than Eyemouth away the following week because it’s not. They’re a great bunch and have trained really well but it’s just another game for us. It’s good to gauge yourselves against teams of this quality.
“Outside the Scottish Cup, it’s the biggest competition the sides can be in so I have no doubt they’ll come to win the game.”