Elgin City manager Gavin Price insists his side are focused on winning at Albion Rovers on Saturday, putting next week’s TV Scottish Cup date out of their minds.
The Borough Briggs club, who led 2-0 against Caley Thistle before losing 4-2 in the SPFL Trust Trophy last week, need to find regular winning form in League Two.
Inconsistent form sees them sit seventh and five points behind fourth-placed Forfar Athletic.
A week on Monday, their sold-out second round Scottish Cup clash at third-placed West of Scotland Premier Division side Clydebank is in the spotlight as it’s live on BBC Scotland.
However, the City boss is in no doubts right now as to what match matters as they face a side just two points below them.
He said: “I don’t think our players will be looking at the Scottish Cup. Saturday is more important and that is where our focus is right now. Once we get Saturday out the way, we’ll move on to that one.
“This is a tricky game for us. Albion Rovers are difficult opponents, particularly at Cliftonhill. They showed that against us last season.
“We’ve had a good week at training on the back of the cup-tie last week. We played one of our better matches against Albion Rovers at home where we were very dominant in a 3-0 win, but it’s a different kettle of fish down there.
Head to our Social Club this Saturday to watch the boys play 🖤
Our Social Club will be open 2pm – 7pm
Info below 👇 pic.twitter.com/7JdWiYV2ih
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) October 12, 2021
“We will pick a team that is ready mentally for a different kind of battle.”
Albion Rovers lost 4-1 at Cove Rangers last week in the SPFL Trust Trophy, but the tie was locked at 0-0 until the 79th-minute breakthrough.
Upbeat ahead of Cliftonhill clash
Taking Elgin’s points search on the road doesn’t faze Price after being a stoppage-time goal away from beating leaders Kelty Hearts in a 1-1 draw in Fife and winning 2-1 at Stenhousemuir recently.
He added: “Our last two away performances have been really good and we can take great confidence from that, so we’ll go there and focus on trying to get another positive result.”
Tomorrow we take on @albionrovers
📍 Exsel Group Stadium
🕒 3pm Kick Off
🎟 Ticket purchases can be made via their website – https://t.co/6k4prSeuFK
Or you can buy your tickets at the cash gate 💵
📺 Live Stream – https://t.co/T4LwHflAJE pic.twitter.com/vtKZMbKm43
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) October 15, 2021
City poised to add to league tally
In City’s last league outing, a bold performance was not matched by the result as high-flying Stirling Albion left Moray with a 2-0 win.
However, Price stressed his players showed enough quality to suggest the rise up the table is imminent.
He added: “Although we lost to Stirling Albion, we played very well. We were really dominant with something like 65 per cent possession against a really good side. I know that doesn’t win games.
“However, although I’m concerned we’ve not got more points on the board right now, I’m not concerned about the future because we have got a team that’s together, is working hard for one another and they will eventually start firing. I am convinced about that.”
Little loaned out for game-time
Central defender Creag Little, who Price signed for the club on a two-year deal, has made a loan switch to Darvel, who play in Clydebank’s division.
Price explained this win-win situation will see the 28-year-old ex-Stenhousemuir stopper return in January fresh and ready for action.
He added: “Creag has been hampered by injury over the past month. It’s difficult for the south-based players to travel up if they’re not going to be in the team.
“He would rather go out and get some games and we made the decision to do that until January. Hopefully he’ll get a number of games at Darvel as he needs to be playing again. He’s certainly a part of my plans, going forward.”
Elgin’s south-located players train at Darvel, so the loan switch is the ideal short-term solution for Little.
Former Caley Thistle and Ross County midfielder Ross Draper, who is on loan at Elgin from League One Cove Rangers, is a contender to make his debut at Coatbridge, but defender Matthew Cooper and striker Kane Hester remain sidelined. Jaime Wilson, the forward on loan from League One club Falkirk, and Dundee United loanee Nathan Cooney are available again.