Todd Lumsden: Linlithgow can't afford to give Vics a sniff

Linlithgow Rose boss Todd Lumsden says his players can't afford to take Blantyre Vics lightly in their Scottish Junior Cup last-32 clash as Vics knocked out fierce rivals Bo'ness United in round three.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 5:30 am
Todd Lumsden wants to instill a winning mentality. Pic: TSPL

Vics defeated Bo’ness on penalties after a controversial replay at Newtown Park, with referee Chris Graham playing extra-time when the match should have gone straight to spot-kicks.

“We spoke to the players in our meeting on Monday night before training that league form and position all goes out the window – they beat Bo’ness who are a decent side,” said Lumsden.

“We can’t go into the game complacent thinking we’ll be beat them because of a,b,c or whatever, we need to make sure that we do our due diligence in our preparation and apply ourselves in the game, because as they’ve shown over the two games with Bo’ness, they can compete.

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“Teams come to Linlithgow and raise their game and we fully expect them to do that. Not for one minute do we expect it to be an easy game, it will be a tough game.”

Former Arbroath boss Lumsden insists his players have to handle the expectation of winning every week if they wish to remain at the Prestonfield club. Rose currently sit just eight points off the foot of the table in the Super League and Lumsden is working hard to enforce a winning mentality on his squad.

He said: “They know what’s expected of them regardless of who we are playing. The players are under no illusion that the run of results and our league position is not acceptable as it currently stands. They are more than willing to put that right.

“All the expectation is on us to win so the players and the staff need to handle that expectation, but at the end of the day if you can’t handle that expectation playing for Linlithgow then you shouldn’t be at the club. We want to get back to winning games every week; league games, cup games, friendlies, whatever.”

Recent signing from Edinburgh City, midfielder Sean Mushin, is available although Graham Weir may have played his last game for the club. The Hearts legend has taken up a new job and his availability isn’t guaranteed every Saturday. Striker Kevin Kelbie is out with a groin strain.

Elsewhere, Haddington Athletic bid to reach the fifth round for the first time since 2011 when they travel west to take on Petershill. Penicuik Athletic are in Ayrshire to take on Girvan, while Dunbar United and Edinburgh United host Benburb and Kilwinning Rangers respectively.