BY IAIN COLLIN and ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Derek Young admits taking the road to Hampden with Forfar today will evoke memories of previous big-game visits to the national stadium.
But the Loons midfielder, who lost to Celtic in the 2004 Scottish Cup final and the 2006 League Cup final when he was with Dunfermline, insists today’s clash with Queen’s Park will mean just as much.
Young, who netted in Forfar’s 2-0 win over the Spiders in the League Cup in August, said: “I’ve been at Hampden for a couple of finals and a good few semi-finals as well. It’s a good place to go.
“Going there will bring back a few memories but the stadium, even if it’ll be a wee bit emptier than usual.
“But you still get the same feeling, it’s still good to go and play there. You don’t get that many chances to play at Hampden, so when you do play there you want to make it a day to remember.
“We’re looking forward to it and hopefully I can get another wee goal. We’re hopeful we’ve got enough to go through.”
Ross Perry has heaped praise on Brechin City team-mate Darren Dods as a player – now he wants to ease the pressure on the veteran as a boss.
Former Rangers kid Perry partners Dods at the heart of the Glebe Park defence and insists the 40-year-old is a role model on the pitch.
But, after just three wins all season, Perry knows the rookie manager is desperate for a Scottish Cup win away to Airdrie today to spark his reign to life.
The 25-year-old said: “The manager’s a role model for anyone who wants to play for as long as possible. He’s the ultimate pro.
“He’s a great guy. i only came across him a couple of times in my playing career but he’s great with all the guys.
“All the boys in the team have got a lot of time for him and we get on really well with him and enjoy his training and his ideas.
“It almost feels like it’s time to repay him with a couple of results.”
Greig Spence reckons a cup win over Arbroath today could kick-start Cowdenbeath’s faltering season.
The Blue Brazil were hammered 7-0 by Peterhead a fortnight ago and have won just four of 17 outings this season under new boss Colin Nish.
But former Celtic youngster Spence, who has bagged seven goals so far this term, is confident the Fifers have what it takes to turn things around.
He said: “We’ve not had the results we’ve been after but before the last couple of games we went four games unbeaten and kept three clean sheets.
“So, hopefully, we can get back to that form on Saturday.
“We know we’ll turn the corner eventually, because we’ve got the ability. It’s just individual errors in games that are killing us just now.
“But we’re all behind the manager and we’re looking forward to trying to get back to winning ways on Saturday.”
Andy Barrowman has warned his former Morton teammates that Albion Rovers are ready to write another unlikely chapter in their Scottish Cup history.
The Cliftonhill outfit were the feel-good story of the competition in the 2013/14 campaign when they eliminated local rivals Motherwell on their way to a first quarter-final in 80 years.
Now flying high in League One under promising young boss Darren Young, Barrowman – a Scottish Cup finalist with Ross County in 2010 – reckons Rovers are hungry to hit the headlines again this year.
The 30-year-old said: “There are still a few of the boys here from that run – the Dunlop brothers and Alan Reid – and the experience they gained will stand them in good stead.
“They will be hungry to replicate that, I’ve had some good times in this competition and the rest of the boys are desperate to do well too. It’s great to get a wee run in the cup and, if we can win on Saturday, then you can start dreaming.
“We’re the home team and our home record is phenomenal, so we believe we can beat anyone, regardless of their division.”