Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is hugely disappointed his close friend Brian Reid won’t be in the opposition dugout tomorrow.
Reid’s 20-month spell in charge of Stranraer came to an end on Monday after a 1-0 defeat by Stenhousemuir left them slumped at the bottom of League 1.
McInnes was looking forward to locking horns with his childhood friend at Pittodrie in this weekend’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie – and is full of sympathy for his former teammate.
He said: “Brian and I both grew up in Paisley.
“We played against each other at juvenile football and played together at Morton.
“We were briefly at Rangers together.
“We were godfather to each other’s children and have been friends throughout.
“My family and his family are very close so I am disappointed he is not going to be in charge.
“He did so well to take them into the play-offs last year but for whatever reason they haven’t been able to build on that this season.
“I was looking forward to the tie for loads of reasons and part of it was Brian being part of that as he is one of my best friends in football.
“I am disappointed to see him lose his job.
“These things happen and Brian accepts that.
“It is disappointing he won’t be in the opposition dugout on Saturday.
“But we are still expecting nothing other than a tough game and we will have to play well.
“Hopefully we can show our determination, quality and tempo to get the job done.”
The Dons have fallen at the first hurdle in the Scottish Cup in the past two seasons with a 2-1 defeat by Dundee in November 2014 followed by last January’s 1-0 loss at Hearts.
Defeat by the team sitting at the foot of Scotland’s third tier is surely unthinkable – but the Dons manager says they will be giving the Stair Park side the utmost respect.
He added: “We have had some tough Scottish Cup ties in the last few years.
“We have very rarely been at home.
“We got to the semi-final in our first year in charge. We lost against Dundee away in the second and away to Hearts last year.
“The Scottish Cup has been a bit disappointing but we have got a home tie which is what you want.
“On paper, it would seem straight forward to everybody else against lower league opposition who are bottom of their league.
“However it is never like that.
“There are always shocks in the cup.
“We have to make sure there is no shock at our place on Saturday.
“We have to respect our opponent.
“They have had a tough season so far but they will be looking forward to coming here and getting away from their league duties.”