Brora Rangers manager Ross Tokely saw his side overcome League One opposition in the last round of the Scottish Cup, and he is hoping for similar once again this weekend as his side travel to face Darren Young’s East Fife.
As well as facing Stevie Farrell’s men in the previous round, they have also faced League One table-toppers Raith Rovers in the Irn-Bru Cup this season, which Tokely believes has benefitted his side heading into this weekend’s clash.
“Raith are top of their league for a reason and I thought they were a very good side. I felt we matched them and I thought we played really well that evening. That experience has really helped the boys as they have faced better teams with better players – I think it is always positive to test yourself.
I think the players responded to that by producing a very strong performance [in the last round] away to Stranraer. We deserved to win the game: we go down on Saturday with no fear. I have done my homework on East Fife, so, now, we are just looking forward to the match.”
The former Inverness and Ross County defender can see similarities between the previous round and the opponents they are facing this weekend.
“There is no difference [on our part], really. We are the underdogs and that is a tag I really thrived on as a player. That is what I am drilling into the players; it is a nice tag to have as there is no pressure on us. If we win the game, great…if we lose, we are the underdogs. However, we are certainly capable of playing well on the day and upsetting East Fife.
I wouldn’t say it is a ‘free-game’ as it is an important match for the club. There is money to be played for – bonuses for the boys as well as money for the club. For a part-time club like ourselves, if we can get through and draw one of the big boys or get a decent home draw, it could be a catalyst for us when we go out to play on Saturday.”
Despite their game being postponed at the weekend, the Highlanders manager doesn’t envisage any issues heading to Methil.
“It has been a bit stop-start since December; we have trained well and we have managed to train twice this week despite the weather being bad. The boys were always going to be champing at the bit, no matter if we had a game off last week or not as these matches keeps them refreshed as well as focused. I am hoping they will produce the same performance as they did versus Stranraer, as we will need that if we are to get through this weekend.
The fans out-sung the Stranraer fans in the last round, as well as them bringing drums and pipes and stuff like that, so, I am sure they will travel in healthy numbers again this weekend. They have always supported us, wherever we go, and it is a great backing for the boys: it gives the lads a boost on the day, so, we need to repay them by getting a result on Saturday.”