East Stirlingshire boss Derek Ure is hoping to go through the next two weeks unscathed as the Lowland League side build up to a Cup double header.
After a free week, the Shire are in Dumfries on Saturday when they take on South of Scotland side Lochar Thistle in the South Region Challenge Cup second round. The following week they are away to East of Scotland Premier Division outfit Broxburn in the first round of the Scottish Cup.
On paper, it is two games which Shire should win, but Ure is taking nothing for granted.
Derek Ure told the Falkirk Herald: “We have got a couple of weeks’ break from the league. It’s a challenging few weeks, we want to be professional and challenging for silverware.
“This weekend’s a game which won’t be taken lightly. I reckon we will be favourites and we have the players that can take care of the game, but it’s important that we treat them with the respect they deserve.
“We’ve got the Scottish Cup soon as well which is another very difficult game, but these are games we feel we can ultimately win if we do our job properly.”
East Stirlingshire have signed Livingston youngster Jack Duncan on loan until the end of the season. The 18-year-old centre back joined the Lions in the summer after being released by Hibernian.
Ure said: “We have been speaking to Jack and Livingston. We have a few injuries in defensive positions and hopefully he will be able to step up. This gives us competition for places, that’s what you’re looking for. He’s a good young player and hopefully he can progress.
“Sometimes it is a step into the unknown and some players take a wee bit of time to adjust, sometimes you can unearth a gem.
“He needs to play in my opinion. There’s a big difference between club academy football and first team. There’s a competitive element that isn’t there, they are also playing against men who are fully developed. Jack is 6ft 3 and a strong boy so he will come up against players who are just as strong as him.”
Ure reflected on the start to the season with the Shire in seventh in the Lowland League after four wins, two defeats and a draw in their opening seven games.
He said: “There’s definitely room for improvement.
“We hope to be challenging at the top end of the table and judged at the end of the season. By January we will have a clearer picture of the league with everyone having played each other, but it is important that we don’t have to play catch up.”