Elgin City defender Matthew Cooper says the prospect of a glamour Scottish Cup tie later in the competition makes it vital his side shows no complacency in today’s second round match against Whitehill Welfare.
City are firm favourites to progress to tonight’s third round draw, with their opponents currently bottom of the Lowland League with just one win so far this season.
Cooper was involved in a home tie against his former club Caley Thistle which attracted a bumper crowd less than two years ago, with the Black and Whites going down 2-1 against the Highlanders, who were in the Premiership at the time.
The right back is hungry for another plum draw, and he said: “The Scottish Cup is massively important to the club. There’s a huge buzz about cup day for the players and fans. As soon as the draw is made there is an excitement.
“A cup run creates a good atmosphere within the club and can spur us on for the rest of the season.
“The Caley Thistle game a couple of years ago proved that, the atmosphere and excitement that day was incredible so that is the incentive for the boys to play one of the big sides.
“We have to be wary of course, as in the cup anything can happen. There are always big upsets and Whitehill Welfare will be seeing this as their chance. We will have to be at our best to make sure we progress.”
Elgin triumphed 3-1 against Cowdenbeath last weekend to kick start a run of five home matches from their next six games, and Cooper sees an opportunity for the League 2 side to gain momentum, adding: “At times against Cowdenbeath last week I felt we were back to our best. Everything clicked on the day and we had a very positive performance all round, so we need to try to replicate that every week.
“It’s a good chance, with a few home games coming up, to start a good run of form. A good spell from now until Christmas could see us right up there with the teams at the top where we want to be.”
Cooper feels Gavin Price’s men still have more to offer, insisting the squad is starting to bear the fruits of training as a full squad this season.
The 24-year-old added: “I have enjoyed the first quarter of the season. I feel we can still improve and there is still more to come from us yet. We have been forced to change a few things through injuries and suspension but the core of the side has been the same which has helped so far.
“I have been here a few years now when we’ve had separate training for the north and south players, but it’s much better training together at Aviemore. It gives us the chance to prepare properly for the Saturday which is massive.”