Catch ’em cold

Lang boss aims for early Cup shock

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drivetime Extra - Dou­glas Dickie

Cam­bus­lang Rangers man­ager Paul McColl is hop­ing his play­ers can catch the higher di­vi­sion sides cold when com­pet­i­tive football re­turns next month.

Lang haven’t even played a pre-sea­son friendly yet, but Paul’s mind is al­ready look­ing to­wards their first fix­ture in the sec­tional league cup against Blan­tyre Vic­to­ria on Au­gust 8.

While some teams choose to treat the sec­tional as an ex­ten­sion of pre-sea­son, Paul is hop­ing his play­ers can make an im­pact and take that form into their league cam­paign when it gets un­der­way.

It’s been 14 years since Lang won the sec­tional tro­phy, and while Paul re­alises his team will be seen as un­der­dogs, he thinks they can go on a run and get to the fi­nal.

He said: “I done it at Wishaw, we got to the semi-fi­nal and it’s a chance to play in a cup fi­nal.

“If you get out the group then you play another game then it’s the last four, so you don’t need to win a lot of games to go far in it.

“Maybe other teams won’t have clicked yet and it’s a chance to get a big team to Somervell and maybe get a big crowd and get some money in.

“It’s not out top pri­or­ity, but it’s some­thing we want to do well in.”

Paul have been busy in the trans­fer mar­ket this week, snap­ping up for­mer Celtic star­let Ryan Caird.

Also ar­riv­ing at Somervell is for­mer Wishaw cap­tain, Neil New­man, a player Paul knows ex­tremely well.

With Caird bring­ing an in­jec­tion of youth to the squad, New­man, who plays at cen­tre­half, will be another ex­pe­ri­enced head to add to a squad which now stands at 15 signed play­ers.

Paul said: “Neil is a sweeper and is very ex­pe­ri­enced.

“He’s played that role for years and has been pro­moted be­fore, so he knows how to get up.

“He was cap­tain at Wishaw when I was there and I’ve played against him as well, and he’s a tough op­po­nent.

“We’ve got 15 play­ers at the mo­ment so we’ll still be want­ing a few more.

“We now have games com­ing up and that will give us the chance to have a look at some other guys.

“There’s hope­fully another four or five to come in.”

Lang get their pre-sea­son sched­ule up and run­ning on Satur­day ( July 18) when they host Irvine Vics.

Af­ter that, there are friendly games against Thorniewood, Glen­cairn un­der 21s and Cum­nock to look for­ward too be­fore the big kick-off.

While pre-sea­son is all about fit­ness lev­els, Paul reck­ons some play­ers will get more from the games than oth­ers.

He said: “The guys who have signed are just get­ting their fit­ness sorted, but for there will be guys who need to im­press.

“They are un­der a wee bit more pres­sure. When you’re signed, you can re­lax, but if you’re not then these games are re­ally im­por­tant.

“Plus, you al­ways want to win. It can build con­fi­dence and I’ve never played in a friendly I didn’t want to win.”

Sign­ing Ryan Caird, a for­mer Celtic player, has joined Lang

Cup goal Paul McColl wants to do well in the sec­tional league cup

Ex­pe­ri­ence Neil New­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.