Gus MacPherson tasted cup glory for himself in 1997 with Kilmarnock. Now the Queen’s Park manager wants his players to write their own names into Scottish Cup history books, starting with a win over Stirling University on Saturday.
Queen’s Park share a special relationship with the William Hill Scottish Cup having won the first ever cup final back in 1874. The Glasgow side have struggled to reach such heights in recent times but can take encouragement from the cup exploits of Albion Rovers, Berwick Rangers and Spartans, who have all reached the latter stages of the competition in the past few years playing outwith the top three leagues.
MacPherson’s says the unpredictable nature of the William Hill Scottish Cup gives his side both hope and reason for caution, ahead of Saturday’s Second Round tie with the University of Stirling.
Speaking to the Scottish FA the Queen’s Park manager said: “It’s an open playing field. Anybody on their day, against any level of opposition can win and that’s what makes the competition so special.
“I was fortunate in 1997 with Kilmarnock to go all the way. Even in recent years there have been lower leagues who have reached the latter stages. For the lower league teams and non-league teams, including the junior and amateur sides who have been in this year’s competition for the first time, it’s special as soon as the draw is made.
“When the Scottish Cup comes around I think every club whether it be preliminary round, semi-final, final – it feels different from everything else. You see that with the interest shown from supporters of every club. I think Stirling University will have a bigger than average support on Saturday and that is just because of the interest this cup brings.”
QUEEN'S PARK IN THE SCOTTISH CUP
Most Scottish Cup titles
Celtic – 36
Rangers – 33
QUEEN’S PARK – 10
Heart of Midlothian – 8
Cup shocks have become part and parcel of the cup in recent years, with League Two clubs reaching the Quarter-finals stages in the last two competitions. For MacPherson, it’s a case of playing to your strengths and respecting the opposition – no-matter what league they play in.
He continued: “We’re looking forward to the game. The excitement starts when the draw is made and the whole group, including everyone involved with the club, is included in that.
"There’s an anticipation to see who we are going to get and our game is certainly an interesting one. We’re very respectful of the Lowland League and the standard there. Stirling University will provide a tough challenge for us.
“You’ve just got to play to your capabilities. There’s no question we’ll be the favourites because of the league status but we’re away from home and we know how competitive the Lowland League is. We’ve been meticulous and thorough in our preparation. Hopefully we can progress.”
William Hill Scottish Cup - Second Round fixtures
Saturday 24 October, kick-offs 3pm
Annan Athletic V Berwick
Brora Rangers V Arbroath
Clachnacuddin V Linlithgow Rose
Cumbernauld Colts V Auchinleck Talbot
East Fife V Stirling
East Kilbride V Forres Mechanics
Edinburgh City V Buckie Thistle
Elgin V Spartans FC
Formartine United V Clyde
Fort William V Cove Rangers
Huntly V East Stirling
Inverurie Loco Works V Edinburgh University
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale V Montrose
Nairn County V Wick Academy
Stirling University V Queen's Park
Turriff United V Fraserburgh