Elgin City manager Gavin Price is confident his side can produce a performance capable of knocking tomorrow’s Championship opponents Ayr United out of the Scottish Cup.
The Black and Whites host an Honest Men side that has failed to win in their last five league matches, with Elgin sitting second in League Two.
Although Price is not reading into recent form, he is taking encouragement from Elgin’s recent cup record against teams from a higher level.
City defeated Alloa Athletic, Dundee and Airdrieonians in cup ties last season, and Price feels the Moray outfit have what it takes to produce another shock against Mark Kerr’s men.
Price said: “It’s a home game. To give ourselves a chance in these sorts of games we need to be at our best and catch Ayr on an off day.
“It’s a one-off cup game and we have a reasonable record against higher league teams in the last couple of seasons.
“We will hopefully go into it with a positive frame of mind. We felt we let ourselves down against Arbroath earlier in the season when we had the chance to get through in the League Cup.
“Hopefully this is a chance to rectify that and put on a better show, and give Ayr a tough time.
“I have watched a lot of their games now and, with our game being off, I watched them on Saturday.
“They have got a lot of good players, and strikers that could really hurt us. We’ve got to be aware of the quality they have got.”
Elgin were defeated 4-1 by Premiership side Ross County in the Betfred Cup this season, but despite the scoreline Price took encouragement from his side’s display.
He added: “We have to be at our very best, but we showed in the Ross County game we can compete. I know the scoreline didn’t go for us, bizarrely in the first half we were 2-0 down, but we created a lot of good opportunities against them. On another day it might have been a different scoreline at half-time.
“If we can play how we can and cut out mistakes, it gives us a chance in these sort of games.
“We have a good, settled side. In one-off games you just never know, but we will certainly have to be at our best.”
Elgin will have Andy McDonald available, with the defender’s pending suspension only applicable to League Two fixtures, meaning he will miss the following weekend’s game against Edinburgh City.
Price is also hopeful former Ross County midfielder Tony Dingwall, who joined last month, will be fit following an ankle problem.
After Elgin’s trip to Brechin City was called off last weekend due to the weather, the Black and Whites acted quickly to arrange a bounce game against Highland League side Rothes on Monday.
Elgin ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Kane Hester, Darryl McHardy and Josh Peters, with Price pleased to get the opportunity to keep his players’ match sharpness up.
Price added: “Anything we can do to prepare the players the best we can is important.
“Training facilities are not easy just now, as well as everything that comes with it.
“It was good to get a game and get the majority of the squad together.
“We didn’t have the south boys, but with the travelling restrictions just now we have to be sensible with what we are doing.
“It’s good to get guys on the park and get their match rhythm going.
“It was a good exercise.
“A couple of the younger fringe players did really well, which is a good sign for the next wee while.”