Manager Steven Mackay insists there’s no reason for Brora Rangers to hit the panic button – despite a six-match losing slump.
The Highland League champions have not posted a victory since beating then Premiership-bound Hearts in their famous 2-1 Scottish Cup triumph in March.
The Cattachs lost in the next stage against Stranraer, were defeated home and away in the pyramid play-off tie against Kelty Hearts and have not taken a point in their Premier Sports Cup games against League One Montrose, Premiership Dundee and, at the weekend, League Two opponents Forfar Athletic.
It doesn’t get any easier as Ross County come calling in Brora’s final League Cup fixture on Wednesday, before they kick off in the Highland League away to Deveronvale on Saturday.
Stern cup tests will work in Brora’s favour for league start
Despite these results going against his side, Mackay insists the League Cup tests will have Brora fired up to respond when the league gets going this weekend.
He explained: “We don’t like to treat the League Cup as a pre-season tournament. We always want to compete, but this one has been a little bit different this season.
— Brora Rangers (@brorarangers) July 19, 2021
“It’s been about getting the boys match-fit and Wednesday will be no different to that, albeit we’re in a much better position than we were going into that first game against Montrose.
“It’s tough because you don’t like losing games of football. It’s ridiculous, but our last victory came against Hearts.
“This is unfamiliar territory for me and the players. I’m not being arrogant when I say this, but we’re not used to losing football matches.
“We’ve lost six on the bounce, the three at the end of last season, including against Kelty Hearts and Montrose, Dundee and Forfar in the cup.
“It’s not ideal. We don’t want to be losing these games, but in terms of preparing us for the Highland League season, this competition is great.
“Wednesday’s game with County will be great because we’ve got Deveronvale away on Saturday and I’d expect us to be at optimum levels and ready to tackle them.”
Mackay expects strong County side to be facing Brora
County have had to forfeit both ties in the competition due to Covid, including Sunday’s showdown with Dundee, but they do have a team ready to head to Dudgeon Park.
Former Staggies attacking midfielder Mackay will prepare his side to be ready for strong opponents, regardless of the names on the team sheet.
He said: “Irrespective of what team Malky is able to field, they will be strong. Myself and assistant boss Craig Campbell watched them (win 5-0) at Elgin a couple of weeks ago and they were really impressive and their fitness looked good. Their shape and movement were exceptional.
📷 – Squad Photo for the upcoming season pic.twitter.com/52nP5lpCCy
— Brora Rangers (@brorarangers) July 17, 2021
“Although Ross County have had a high turnover of players, they have brought more in and they’re looking to add to that again. We’re looking forward to it.
“We’ve taken a lot out of the three cup games, although we’ve not scored yet, in terms of our shape and how we’ve looked defensively at times. We just need to create a little more going forward and take our chances.”
Ready for a return to action 👊 pic.twitter.com/i4hAMsDG0l
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) July 20, 2021