Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell hoping to cause cup upset against Hibernian
Stranraer take their place in the national spotlight on Sunday they take on Premiership outfit Hibernian in a televised Scottish Cup fourth round tie.
The Edinburgh side, tournament winners five years ago, are massive favourites to get through the tie which has been moved to Sunday, with a 12.15pm kick-off, to avoid a clash with the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral and will be beamed live on BBC One.
With Hibs’ third round match at Queen of the South being played after the fourth round draw was made, Farrell was able to undertake a spying mission on his opponents – and is fully aware of threat they pose.
He said: “You can see why they are sitting at the top end of the Premier League. They're an excellent side, their movement was good and they were well on top so we know it's going to be a difficult tie.
"But we've just got to go and make it as difficult as we can at Stair Park, try and impose our own game as much as we possibly can but at the same time be mindful that we are playing a very, very good side."
Stair Park would normally be packed for a match like, but not so in these pandemic-dominated time. That’s something Farrell regrets.
He said: “It's a shame for both sets of fans. The Hibs fans will look at these cup ties as a great day out, a journey they don't often make, and the Stranraer fans miss out on the occasion of having a Premier League club coming to their home ground."
One player especially keen to make an impact will be Matty Yates who had a spell at Hibs last season after leaving Rangers.
The teenager has impressed since joining Stranraer earlier this season and is a player for whom Farrell has high hopes.
He said: "The kid's got a real chance, I've said that from day one.
"We've signed him on an 18-month deal so he's got the rest of this season and next season and he's developing and learning all the time.
"There were high hopes for him in the Development Leagues with Hibs and Rangers, but there's a big difference playing in League 2 against the teams he's playing against week in, week out now.
"He's had to be patient and bide his time coming off the bench and making an impact.
"We need to be careful with him. He's a very young lad and we don't want to give him too much too soon.
" But he's certainly going to be a big player for us between now and the end of the season.”