Scottish Cup win so important for Warriors

Stenhousemuir face a lengthy trip to Elgin this weekend when they meet Forres 
Mechanics in the third round of the Scottish Cup.

But Warriors boss Brown Ferguson and his squad will set off from Ochilview tomorrow (Friday) for the 170-mile journey to ensure the players are ‘‘fresh and ready’’ to claim a place in the fourth round draw.

Ferguson said: ‘‘We have the club to thank for allowing us to travel up a day in advance. It is unheard of in part-time football but we want to make sure our players step out onto the pitch on match day feeling as prepared as they can be.’’

The Warriors boss tried to somewhat play down the fact Saturday’s cup tie was vitally important, saying: ‘‘It’s just another game of football for us, 11 v 11 and a referee. However, we cannot ignore that it is the Scottish Cup and a win would really benefit the club and help 
create a ‘feelgood’ factor around Ochilview.’’

Forres, who currently sit eighth in the Highland League, beat Cumbernauld Colts 4-0 in the previous round.

Ferguson said: ‘‘Having had reports of Forres in recent weeks, we know what to expect. They are a big, strong physical side but we will use that to our advantage.

‘‘We will play our normal passing game but what we need is to ensure that everyone steps up to the plate.

‘‘We need a change of mentality for this match where we play for the full 90 minutes and not 
allow defensive slip-ups to marr the outcome of the game.’’

For Saturday’s match, the Warriors will be missing keeper David Crawford, torn thigh muscle; Alan Cook, suspended after a red card shown last season in the cup 
is carried over; and Stephen Stirling.

Fraser Kerr, who came off against Stranraer, is expected to be available as is Willis Furtado, who benefitted from a run out last week.

And Ferguson added that the club has re-signed Spanish midfield Carlos Manzana, who played for the club last season.

On his club’s prospects of winning the tie, Ferguson said: ‘‘The team has shown a vast improvement in recent weeks, all we need to ensure is that we keep our shape for the 90 minutes and in doing so we aim to return to Stenhousemuir on Saturday in the fourth round of the cup.’’