I only made it to two of the Betfred cup games this year (Ayr at home and Livingston away). I was at a wedding which prevented me from attending the game away at Stranraer and my dad had a serious motorbike accident last Tuesday on the A1 heading past Belford. Thankfully, he is recovering in hospital and is hoping to be out this week. He has several broken bones and a punctured lung so it’s unlikely we will be seeing him in the Ducket anytime soon!
I’m torn in my feelings about the cup campaign and the benefit it has. Most teams haven’t finished assembling squads and will still want to be taking a look at potential signings and triallists which they are unable to play during the campaign.
On the flip side, it gives you an opportunity to come up against some of the best players in the country and potentially make a little bit of extra money with bigger crowds. I like the concept, but it does nothing for building confidence. This is something that we desperately need.
I’ve been really impressed with the fight and endeavour that the lads have shown in the two games I’ve seen so far. I could see improvements with our shape and ball retention in the Livingston game than when we played Ayr, especially in the second half. We’ve came across some quality teams and been punished for some poor defending at times. But, we have basically put together a full new team and it was always going to take time for them to bed in. This is made all the more difficult when you are playing teams at a much higher level.
Overall, I’m glad the cup is out of the way and we can now focus on the league, starting tomorrow at home to Bonnyrigg. They had a good win on Saturday and will be full of confidence heading down to Shielfield. It’ll be good to see some of the old faces amongst the Bonnyrigg set up.
I’m optimistic about the season ahead but I realise it is going to be tough and highly competitive. Some of the results on Saturday from the expected frontrunners shows you that. Hoping for us to end our goal drought and get off on a positive foot. Black and gold army!