BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Ross Forsyth will urge his Stirling Albion team-mates to savour every minute of tonight’s Scottish Cup replay against Inverness Caley Thistle – because he knows from experience it is the kind of occasion that does not come around too often.
The 33-year-old was key to the Binos earning this evening’s money-spinning tie when he marshalled the League Two challengers to a shock 0-0 draw at home 10 days ago.
The former Morton and Dumbarton defender is in his eighth season with Stirling and if anyone deserves to revel in the glare of the live Sky TV cameras it is surely the club stalwart.
More than 15 years on from his debut for St Johnstone in the Premier League in 2000, Forsyth is determined to relish the glamour of Albion’s trip to the Highlands as they go in search of an unlikely giant-killing act.
He said: “Sometimes as you get a wee bit older you start to appreciate football even more, and specifically these sorts of occasions.
“They don’t come around very often, you don’t get an opportunity to test yourself against Premiership opposition very often.
“So, I’m definitely appreciating the opportunity and I’ll certainly enjoy the game.
“We coped all right in the first game, although it was back to the walls at times.
“But every footballer wants to test themselves against better players and we’re certainly no different.
“Inverness are a well-established top-six Premiership team, with very good players, and it’s great to get the chance to test yourself against that level of opposition.”
Stirling should have had a dress rehearsal at the weekend for the lengthy travelling involved for tonight’s tie but their trip to face Elgin City in the league fell victim to the wintry weather.
That allowed the part-timers and manager Stuart McLaren to turn their attentions to the cup a few days early.
However, Forsyth admits it is a game that has been at the back of the players’ minds since they eked out a draw in the first encounter.
He added: “The manager has been able to use this game as motivation – the opportunity to play against Inverness and live on Sky TV. The boys have had loads to play for, to make sure they’re in the starting XI for this tie.
“I think all the manager will be looking for is the same application and work-rate, and commitment to his game-plan, because the only thing we can control is our performance.
“If that means we go and put in a good performance and we get a result then brilliant.
“But we’re under no illusions as to how hard it’s going to be.
“There are no expectations on us and no pressure, and it’s an opportunity for the lads to go out and enjoy the occasion, and to play in front of the live cameras, which isn’t something that happens very often to a League Two team.
“We’ll just go and enjoy the occasion and see what happens.”