Billy Stark

Boss says his team much bet­ter pre­pared this time

East Kilbride News - - MOTORS - Paul Thom­son

East Kil­bride boss Billy Stark reck­ons his side are bet­ter placed to chal­lenge Al­bion Rovers in the Scot­tish Cup this week­end than they were dur­ing their Bet­fred Cup de­feat ear­lier in the sea­son.

The League One out­fit dished out a 5-2 de­feat when they vis­ited K-Park in July and on Satur­day they will re­turn to town bid­ding to halt Kilby’s Scot­tish Cup progress at the third round stage.

In their first en­counter, Kilby were with­out skip­per Barry Rus­sell and found them­selves 2-0 down af­ter five min­utes be­fore suf­fer­ing one of their heav­i­est de­feats.

But since then they have man­aged to find a much more set­tled back line and Stark be­lieves it will be a tighter con­test this time around.

He said: “We didn’t cover our­selves in glory that day de­fen­sively and to be fair to Rovers they looked very good, they played very well.

“We have come through a dif­fi­cult spell from the last game where we had play­ers on hol­i­day, Craig Howie was out and so was Barry Rus­sell. David Proc­tor was out for a spell af­ter that as well so we were hav­ing to change things more than we wanted.

“We’ve been a bit more set­tled and looked more for­mi­da­ble in terms of our de­fend­ing.

“A Scot­tish Cup tie with a team com­ing away from home, you want to make them ner­vous be­cause they have ev­ery­thing to lose, par­tic­u­larly when they have won com­fort­ably al­ready at K-Park this sea­son.

“Peo­ple will ex­pect them to get through the tie, so we have to be pos­i­tive in terms of the way we have been in the last few games.

“We’ll be tested to the full so we’ve got to make sure we are ready for it.”

Mean­while, Rovers have found it dif­fi­cult to keep the ball out of the net re­cently. They have shipped 43 goals in 18 games, av­er­ag­ing 2.5 goals per game, com­pared to Kilby’s av­er­age of nearly one goal a game.

But they are also scor­ing goals for fun as well. There has been 23 goals in their last five games, which in­cludes a 5-4 de­feat to East Fife and a 4-3 loss to For­far.

So goals are to be ex­pected by those head­ing to K-Park.

Stark, who was as­sis­tant man­ager to Dar­ren Young at Rovers last sea­son, said: “I saw them a cou­ple of weeks ago and their strength is with their cre­ative play­ers, par­tic­u­larly Alan Trouten.

“He has some­thing like 17 goals so far and Con­nor Shields is in dou­ble fig­ures, so they’ve got a po­tent threat go­ing for­ward.

“But they have lost a lot of goals as well. They are a cou­ple of leagues above us, they’ve got good play­ers but they have not been great de­fen­sively.

“So we need to make sure we can cope with their at­tack­ing threat but at the same time we want to be test­ing them. We have to come up with a for­mula and the right per­son­nel that will give us that.”

Point to prove Billy Stark knows EK need to be at their best on Satur­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.