Skipper Kevin Turner can expect an instant recall to the East Stirlingshire team to face Rangers at Ochilview.
The Shire captain was forced to sit out Tuesday night’s morale-boosting victory over Queen’s Park but coach John Coughlin says he will consider changing his winning midweek eleven for their tough assignment against the Ibrox side.
The coach says he has been caught out before by refusing to change a team after a win and will instead concentrate on getting what he considers his best eleven out onto the pitch.
“It was a great victory against Queen’s Park and the guys fully deserved their win,” he said. “But Saturday is a different game and we need to make sure our best players are out there.
“Everyone is desperate to play in a high-profile game like this and I will wager those who played on Tuesday were hoping to put in the kind of performance that would get their name on the team sheet for the Rangers match.
“But that is not how football works and I will pick the team accordingly.”
Coughlin appreciates that every member of his squad will be desperate to make his final cut and he hopes that competitive instinct from within will help the team gain a competitive edge against Ally McCoist’s elite Ibrox players.
“There is no doubt that I will have to do little in the way to motivate our guys for this game,” he said. “They will be giving it everything just as they did at Ibrox back in August.
“But we will have the advantage of being at Ochilview. It is a place where our players feel comfortable and we will be playing on a 3G surface where I think we are a match for anyone.”
Rangers have felt far from comfortable on their travels around unfamiliar parts of Scotland so far this season and Coughlin is hoping they can cramp Rangers’ style and cause an upset.
“Of course it will be very difficult against them,” he said. “They have quality players throughout their team, but that doesn’t mean to say we don’t think we have a chance of getting a result. “
Ochilview will have a sell-out crowd of just over 3,000 and although the majority of those with tickets will be backing the visitors, Shire are delighted with the response from their own fans.
“It is a big day for our supporters and we are gratified to see they will be out backing us in big numbers,” said chairman Tony Ford. “We have sold out our section of the stadium so our players will not lack backing from the stands and we hope they will get a lift from that.”
Shire have been co-operating with the police and Stenhousemuir FC to make sure everyone enjoys their day and Ford wants fans to follow the basic ground rules to ensure things run smoothly.
“It’s basic common sense,” he said. “We want our fans to turn up as early as possible. The turnstiles will be open more than an hour before kick-off so we ask they take advantage of that and help us avoid long queues close to the start of the game.
“If they can leave the car at home and find another way of getting to and from the game that would help as well,” said Ford. “We have spoken to people at other clubs who have hosted Rangers in the Third Division this season and they have said the atmosphere in their grounds has been great.
“We want that to be the same on Saturday. We understand the desire of Rangers fans to see this game but they have to appreciate that we have segregation measures and anyone trying to gain access to the home parts of the stadium wearing Rangers colours will be refused admission. I think we are confident that everyone will have an enjoyable afternoon, and if we can pull off the right result that would cap it all,” said the chairman.