Edinburgh University midfielder Finn Daniels-Yeoman believes tomorrow’s derby encounter against Spartans is just the calibre of match the club needs to kickstart their season.
The students have lost five of their opening seven Lowland League fixtures so far, leaving Dorian Ogunro’s side in a rather uncomfortable 14th position in the table.
Victory over Whitehill Welfare three weeks ago coupled with a goalless draw with Civil Service Strollers four days later has been the Uni’s only saving grace in an otherwise disastrous start.
However, PhD student Daniels-Yeoman believes a positive 90 minutes against their Capital rivals could make all the difference going forward.
“We’re excited about this one because we always tend to raise our game against Spartans,” the 27-year-old said. “Maybe it’s because they always seem to take all of our players! Joking aside they are a top team and they are always there or thereabouts at the business end of the season.
“I think a good result this weekend could really galvanize the team. We had a great result against Whitehill a couple of weeks ago but tomorrow will be the first time the manager will have had virtually a full squad to choose from.
“I think Spartans always underestimate us because most of the time they are above us. By all accounts they played really well last Saturday against Linfield so they’ll be in confident mood.”
Daniels-Yeoman doesn’t believe results so far this season have reflected their performances.
“We’ve just not really got going yet,” he explained. “It’s always the same at this time of year as we never have a full squad available with others away on holiday and being unavailable out of term time. But as I said, we’ve got players coming back now so that should make a big difference.
“I don’t think anyone could question the commitment of the team so far, that has always been there but we’ve just not had the breaks.”
Spartans’ David Greenhill, meanwhile, says that although he and his team-mates loved every second of their Irn-Bru Challenge Cup tie with Northern Ireland champions Linfield six days ago, he admits everyone in the dressing-room would happily swap the whole experience for three points at Peffermill tomorrow.
“I think we did really well last week and were a wee bit unlucky not to take the tie into extra time,” the 32-year-old midfielder said. “It was a really enjoyable experience for everyone connected with the club.
“But it’s a far bigger game for us tomorrow. When you play that level of opposition like we did last week, you always tend to struggle in the game that follows. We can’t allow for that to happen.
“Our main aim this year, as it is every season, is to win the league so we need points. We would have happily swapped last weekend’s game for three points tomorrow make no mistake about it.
“Edinburgh Uni always make it difficult for us. There’s always that wee bit of rivalry given Dougie [Samuel] was manager there for a few years before joining us so we’re expecting more of the same again. We just need to turn up and make sure we give a good account of ourselves.”
Elsewhere, Whitehill travel to Netherdale to play hosts Gala Fairydean Rovers also in desperate need of league points. The Rosewell club have picked up just four points from a possible 21 and manager Gary Small has acknowledged his players must start to turn things around if they are to avoid becoming detached at the bottom end of the table.
Meanwhile, following last weekend’s 2-1 triumph at Whitehill, Civil Service Strollers host Dalbeattie Star at Christie Gillies Park.
Alex Cunningham’s men have taken eight points so far.