NEILSTON manager Bobby Crilly last night fired a defiant warning to big guns Pollok as he declared: “We’re not scared of you.”
The Brig o’Lea boss knows his Central District First Division side are massive underdogs going into today’s Sectional League Cup clash with the ’Lok.
But Crilly also knows the Newlandsfield side are not the powerhouse outfit they used to be.
The SuperLeague Premier giants finished in mid-table last season and were sent spinning out of the Scottish Junior Cup at the second-round stage by East SuperLeague side Newtongrange Star.
Crilly said: “Pollok will be disappointed with how they finished last year and have brought in a new manager and a lot of new players.
“They have spent a fortune on three or four players but they are not the force they used to be.
“I expect them to be back up to full strength by the end of the season but, right now, they are beatable.
“We just need to play the game and not focus on reputations.”
Neilston cruised to a 3-1 win over Benburb in their opening Sectional League Cup match but Crilly believes there is still room for improvement, lamenting a ‘sluggish’ end to the game as his heavy-legged players showed the effects of a tough pre-season.
However, he does believe his side have what it takes to bounce back out of the Central District set-up at the first attempt following their relegation from the SuperLeague First Division last season.
He said: “I think we have got enough about us to get out of this league. Everything we are doing is geared towards that.”
Crilly will be without Robbie Cameron and Alan Evans today as they jet off on holiday, while Darren Christie is ruled out with an eye infection he picked up on his recent travels.
“That is probably the result of acute alcohol poisoning,” joked Crilly.
Meanwhile, Neilston Juniors Under-21 side will host the John Gibb Trophy tournament this weekend.
The four-team tourney will kick-off at noon today at Cowan Park in Barrhead when Erskine take on Kilbride BC in the first semi-final.
The second semi-final will see the hosts face Eastwood at 2pm.
The winners of these games will then clash at the Brig o’Lea tomorrow at 3pm, with a third-place play-off scheduled for 1pm at the same venue.
Entry to tomorrow’s games is priced at £1.
l Today’s match between Pollok and Neilston at Newlandsfield kicks-off at 2pm.