Spartans eager to make most of Irn-Bru Cup reprieve as they host Northern Ireland champions Linfield

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SKIPPER Mikey Herd insists Spartans are determined to make the most of their Irn-Bru Cup reprieve as they target a shock victory over Northern Irish champions Linfield this afternoon.

The Lowland League outfit were knocked out of the competition by Albion Rovers after a penalty shoot-out but later reinstated when it emerged Rovers had fielded an ineligible player.

As a result, the capital club will host one of the biggest games in their recent history as they take on a side who only six weeks ago were doing battle with Celtic in the Champions League.

(Pic: @spartansfc)

Herd, whose previous stint with East Stirling took him to Ibrox to face Rangers, admits Spartans are relishing the challenge of taking on David Healy’s visitors from Belfast.

But the midfielder is determined to block out the hullabaloo surrounding the tie and stay focused on trying to pull off the kind of major upset Spartans have managed in the past in cup ties against the likes of Clyde, Morton, Elgin City and Alloa Athletic.

He told @CCP_sport: “It was disappointing, the way we went out to Albion Rovers on penalties, but getting back in we’re just hoping to make the most of it.

“When we knew there was a chance we could get back into the tournament and saw that the draw was Linfield at home the boys were really happy and buzzing for it.

“We’ve prepared well this week and all the players and everyone associated with the club are looking forward to the game.

GAME-PLAN

“It’s a massive challenge for us. They played in the Champions League a few weeks ago against Celtic and are national champions.

“But we’ll have a game-plan and if we can execute that then you never know what could happen.

“These games are slightly different in terms of the build-up and the warm-up, with the atmosphere surrounding the game.

“But, once you cross that white line at kick-off, the game takes care of itself.

“Everyone will be up for it, people will be nervous, but once you’re into the game it doesn’t matter if you’re playing in front of a small crowd or a big crowd.”

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