Andy Rodgers knows Shire will have to play even better than they did at Galabank on Saturday if they are to knock Annan Athletic out of the William Hill Scottish Cup when the teams meet again in their second round replay at Ochilview on Saturday.
The players picked up plenty of plaudits for their performance in the original match last week which ended in a 0-0 draw, but Rodgers says he and his team mates still have a mighty job on their hands if they are to claim a third round tie away at either Formartine United or Banks O’Dee.
And the striker knows too that their opponents will have been told to up their game from last week if they are to avoid a cup shock. Andy says he’s been involved in too many cup-ties to believe the job is half done simply by bringing the tie back home.
“If we think the hard work’s done then we’re going to get a shock,” he said. “We need to be at least as good as were were last week, and probably a bit better, if we are to go and get the result we need.”
Annan Athletic were favourites to beat Lowland League Shire at Galabank and their failure to get the result will, no doubt, make them doubly keen not to end up on the end of a cup shock. The Shire man, back for his second spell with the club, expects a backlash from last week and says the visitors will be up for the cup.
“I would be very surprised if they didn’t come all guns blazing,” said Andy. ” I can’t imagine (Annan manager) Jim Chapman was happy with their performance last week so you have to expect them to be a bit better this week.
“But we have to look at ourselves and if we do things the way we should then we should be looking to win the game.”
Shire, though, will look back to chances they had during the first half of the Galabank game and might be wondering whether there would have been any need for a second game if thy had taken them.
“Especially in the first half we had numerous chances and whether it was deflections, saves, woodwork, it was just one of those days when it wasn’t going to go in. But we did things right at the other end and stopped them getting a goal and that kept us in the tie.”
While he is well aware of the dangers that Annan Athletic will pose in this weekend’s game Andy says the Shire players have to be confident in their own abilities to cause a shock result.
The team has won five and drawn one of its last six games at Ochilview and it’s that kind of form which should add to their own sense of self-belief.
“We’ve got to be confident and I’m confident,” he said. “We showed last week we can at least match them and then this week we need to try and go one better. The hard work’s not done. I’ve played in cup-ties where things don’t go to plan in the replay so we need to be switched on and as good as we were.”
Andy and the rest of the team would appreciate a good-sized home support to help them. Admission to the game is £10 adults and £5 concessions.