Collins urges lions to roar Hearts out
John Collins admits he will kick every ball from his seat high up in the stand when Livingston seek to cause a cup upset against Hearts tonight.
The Almondvale director of football has urged his club’s young side to relish the occasion as much as he will – even though he wishes he could be out there on the pitch with them.
The Hearts stadium and the Scottish Communities League Cup (back then the CIS Cup) hold happy memories for Collins. His Hibs side – who defeated Hearts a round earlier – saw off St Johnstone at Tynecastle after extra-time in the semi-finals to set up their 5-1 hammering of Kilmarnock in the 2007 final.
With fellow former Hibs manager John Hughes at the helm at Livingston, however, Collins is aware the Hearts supporters will also revel in the opportunity presented by the arrival of the West Lothian outfit to play up their Edinburgh rivalries.
But Collins wants Livingston’s young team, who were defeated 4-0 by Dunfermline as Hearts were beating Dundee United 3-0 on Saturday, to build reputations and make names for themselves by being brave in the face of adversity in Gorgie.
He said: “We’re a team full of young players, so we’ve got to look forward to going to an excellent venue. We’re playing against the big boys and hopefully there will be a decent crowd there.
“This competition holds wonderful memories for me, and Tynecastle was the semi-final venue when we had a tough game and extra-time against St Johnstone and won through.
“I like Tynecastle as a venue, it’s a terrific little football stadium. The stands are at a great angle, right on top of you, and the fans are right on top of you, and it sets it up nicely for the boys. I only wish I was out on the pitch.
“Hearts are big favourites for the game. They had a great result at the weekend, so obviously their tails are going to be up.
“But we’ve got to go there and enjoy the occasion. We need to make sure we’re ready for it, be brave in possession and be organised, stick together and give it our best go.”
The odds are stacked against the First Division team, but Collins is eager to see how the Lions cope with the contest.
He added: “I believe there are some players in our team that can go up a level and this is the ultimate acid test for them, can they step up a level and produce a performance against a Premier League team on their own patch?
“It’s a great challenge.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West