Olivebank all set for historic night as Musselburgh face Clyde in Scottish Cup

The BBC cameras are rolling into Musselburgh this evening
The home dressing room is all set for tonight's match [Pic: Musselburgh Athletic]The home dressing room is all set for tonight's match [Pic: Musselburgh Athletic]
The home dressing room is all set for tonight's match [Pic: Musselburgh Athletic]

Liam Burns is sending out his Musselburgh Athletic side with the belief that they can claim a Scottish Cup scalp.

Burgh hope to follow in the footsteps of East Lothian neighbours Dunbar United and Musselburgh Athletic by booking their place in the third round, with League 2 Clyde standing in their way, and Jeanfield Swifts lying in wait.

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Under the Olivebank floodlights with a capacity sold-out crowd in attendance, broadcast live on BBC Scotland, it has all the makings of a historic night for the Honest Toun.

Boss Burns is hopeful it is going to be a memorable one, with dad David, uncle Tom, and girlfriend Ellie all in attendance.

“It’s been a long time coming, it’s been a long week – in a good way,” said Burns. “We’ve done our best to concentrate on our games beforehand and make sure this didn’t take focus off the games before.

“Even this week, in terms of training and how they’ve been, they just come in and have their normal terrible banter and haven’t really talked about the game. The boys have trained really well and they are looking forward to it.

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"I have had a busy couple of weeks sorting tickets. My dad and my uncle will be there, they go every single week. They are massive Hibs supporters but I think they are at Olivebank more than they are at Easter Road these days, which is good. They are going and my girlfriend Ellie is coming as well with her sister Christie, so there is a good number of family and friends coming along and there will be people watching in the house.

“For myself and the staff, we have worked hard to get here. I remember saying to the staff, ‘This is something that no previous Musselburgh management team have done before, this is the furthest the club have went’. Selfishly, nobody can take that away from us. When I took this job just over a year ago, if someone had said ‘In 13 months time this would happen’, I would’ve thought ‘Nah, no chance’. Good performances from the players and a wee bit of luck in terms of our game being chosen, and here we are, about to be live on the telly. I am very much looking forward to it.

“The walkout just before the game, I will try and enjoy it for maybe the ten seconds walking across the pitch. Olivebank has never had this crowd before and with the cameras, it will just look really good.”

The 28-year-old is a fledging young manager in his first job but hasn’t left any stone unturned to ensure his side are prepared as best as possible, utilising his network of contacts to find out as much about tonight’s opponents as possible.

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He’s confident his side can cause manager-less Clyde problems of their own, however, and get one step closer to his dream of a fourth-round tie away to Hibs.

Burns continued: “I think you can do anything when you enjoy it, you play better. We need to enjoy the event, but we need to have that balance and know exactly what we are here for. We are underdogs, we are well of that, but knowing how good my group of players is, I expect us to win.

“We have a very, very good chance. We are against a good side, who are two leagues above, they’ve struggled in the league, but they have had a lot of games that have been really close. In terms of their results, I am not looking too much into it, they have got good players, some experience and a couple of young ones as well.

“As long as our shape is correct and we do the right things, the game will come down to moments in both boxes. If we get a chance, we need to be clinical. One thing over the last month is we have created a lot of chances but not scored enough goals. If we can get that clinical side to us, we’ve got a chance.”

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There is no mistaking the importance of tonight’s match, which demonstrates how far the club has come in recent years. Night’s like tonight will provide Burgh with a huge financial boost, providing them with the platform to hopefully create more special memories.

“I am really proud of what we have done so far,” continued Burns. “We are absolutely nowhere near where we want to be and we want to make sure that tonight isn’t just a case of looking back on what we’ve achieved, we want to keep this journey going.

“I said to the players at the start of the season that our aim is to win the league and I want a big cup draw, I want a really big one, as in playing away to Hibs – and we are now two games away from that. Clyde are in the way of us doing that, and yes, we want to enjoy the experience leading up to the game, but in terms of the game, we are there to win.”

Burns is known for standing on the touchline in casual clothing but he will be donning a suit for tonight’s match?

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“If I had a pound for every time somebody has asked me what I am wearing… honestly. It will be my usual comfy attire. I always wear my own stuff, I feel comfier and warmer. I wear tracksuits every day of my life for my job so a Saturday afternoon is the only time I can go and wear my own gear.”

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