Cove Rangers mainstay Scott Ross is adamant they will not be cowed by Hibernian’s Premiership prowess this lunchtime.
The Hibees possess arguably the most in-form striker in Scotland right now in Kevin Nisbet, but Ross insists they have ways of their own to hurt the high-flying Edinburgh side.
Captain Mitch Megginson was the League Two top scorer last season with 24 goals, while Jamie Masson contributed 15 of his own. They also possess Rory McAllister, a prolific marksman during 10 years in the lower leagues.
Cove are understandably the underdogs heading into the game, which is to be the first home fixture televised from the Balmoral Stadium. But Ross does not believe they should simply sit back and defend.
He said: “You have just got to look at our team. We’re not a team that will sit in and defend. The players we’ve got – Mitch, Rory, Leighton McIntosh – it’s not just going to be a case of shutting up shop.
“We want to stamp our authority on and create Hibs problems and we know it’s going to be a massive ask.
“It will be a tough game for myself and for the defenders but these are the games you want to challenge yourself in and prove how good you are.”
Ross added that the game being televised on Premier Sports also gives Cove the chance to show how they have progressed since entering the SPFL.
He said: “It’s a massive game for the club – it’s just a pity the fans can’t be there to support us.
“We’ve got to treat it like a normal game. There’s nnno point making yourself nervous and worrying about what could happen.
“It’s a massive challenge for us. You only need to look at how Hibs have started. They’re flying. But at the same time, we’re lucky enough it’s going to be on television and we can show how far we’ve come from the Highland League.”
Jack Ross’ side have already started their league season and have plenty of match-practice under their belts. For Cove, this will be their first competitive game after five pre-season friendlies.
But Ross, formerly of Peterhead and Aberdeen, feels they have the players to challenge full-time teams this season.
He added: “It’s a league with full-time teams and if we can get in or around the play-offs, it’ll be a bonus. It’s going to be a tough year but we’ve got the players to feel we can be up there pushing the full-time teams.
“We just need to make sure we’re far away from relegation.”