Shire must be on their game to avoid cup shock

East Stirlingshire must go into tomorrow night’s Scottish Cup first round tie with Fort William with nothing less than a professional attitude.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:00 am
Shire lost out to Linlithgow on Saturday, and boss Derek Ure wants improvement. Pic by Scott Louden

So says manager Derek Ure who is taking absolutely nothing for granted against a club which regularly scrapes around the basement of the Highland League.

Shire will go into the game at the Falkirk Stadium as heavy favourites to advance but Ure isn’t interested in odds.

He wants to see his players perform in the same manner they would as against any other opponent versus a Fort William side that has played six league games this season, lost them all, scored only five goals and shipped 31.

“I expect them to pose a threat to us because offensively they’ve been doing a bit better,” said the manager.

"I don’t always believe in league positions and how other teams are doing in their league, it’s a fair guide.

"I’m more concerned that we turn up and take care of our own performance first and foremost.

"If we don’t turn up and play to the best of our ability and apply ourselves properly, make no mistake, there will be a cup upset and we’ll be out.

"Any team on any day can win a game and we need to make sure that, from the warm-up to the start of the game on Friday night, we’re at it from the first whistle and do everything in our power to get through to the next round.”

Shire go into the Scottish Cup tie with Fort William on the back of a 2-1 loss to Linlithgow Rose in the Challenge Cup first round at the weekend.

Ure’s side looked comfortable and raced into the lead before the quarter of an hour mark.

But they fell out of the game and Rose recovered to steal a 2-1 victory to progress.

"We got ourselves into a good position by going 1-0 up and then we didn’t play anywhere near the level that we can,” said the manager.

"I have absolutely no arguments with the score, we were beaten by a hungrier team on the day.

"The boys have been excellent so far this season but they fell short of the standard they can reach.

"There will be no pointing fingers, the boys are well aware of what we expect because we want them performing to a good level every week.

“We appreciate that may not happen but we have to try and demand it from them.

"Saturday just wasn’t good enough, there were a lot of things which let us down and we’ll address them.

"We’ve spoken to the group as a whole because we have a vital couple of weeks coming up.”

Ahead of the Linlithgow game, Ure added 20-year-old former Hibs and Stenhousemuir defender Jack Hodge to his squad.

He’s a player the manager has high hopes for.

"Jack is someone I’d tried to bring in previously,” said Ure.

"He’s a local lad and fits in with what we want at the club.

"He’s come in and showed a hunger and a desire and I’m confident he’ll be a good addition.”

Tomorrow night’s game is a 7.45pm kick off at the Falkirk Stadium