Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horne has backed his players to rise to the occasion in their eagerly anticipated Scottish Cup clash with Hibernian this weekend.
Since their shock win over Dumbarton six weeks ago, the countdown has been on to the fairytale fourth round tie, which will be staged at a sold out Tynecastle Stadium this Saturday.
“It feels like it’s been a long time coming,” Horn told the Advertiser. “The game against Dumbarton seems like an age ago now and it’s been incredibly busy.
“It’s been very difficult to focus on anything else because it’s such a huge one-off game - the game of their lives for a lot of the players.
“But they’ve earned the reward they’ve got with this game against Hibs and it’s so important that they go and enjoy it, and milk it for what it actually is.
“There’s going to be a lot things going on with interviews and TV that they’ll not be used to, but they’ve just got to enjoy it and embrace it.
“But when it comes to game time on Saturday we want them to go and show people what they are capable of - that’s really important to me.
“We’ve got to this stage by performing to a high level, especially against Dumbarton, but we want to go give a good account of ourselves.
“If we perform like we can, Hibs have an off day, and we get a bit of luck, you just never know. We believe we can cause an upset.”
Horn has a few injury concerns ahead of the big match but he insists that he will not change his team’s style despite taking on a side who sit six points clear at the top of the Championship.
“We’ve actually got a few injuries which is really disappointing and I’m gutted for the players that might be struggling for the game,” he said.
“Everybody wants to be involved and fit to play but we just have to wait and see. Some of them might be a last minute call whether they play or not.
“They way we are going to play is not going to change. We’ve played the same way pretty much for the last 18 month so we’re not going to change it now.
“We played the same way against Dumbarton as well. It will be nothing unusual - we’ll just ask them to express themselves and show what they are capable of.”
Rose will be cheered on by one-third of the population of Bonnyrigg after the club sold out its allocation of 5000 tickets for the match.
“It’s incredible - and we could have sold more,” Horn added.“It’s a great occasion for the community and there’s lots of kids from the commuunity club coming to the game as well, and hopefully the future of Bonnyrigg Rose.
“Hopefully going to the game on Saturday will inspire some of them to go on and be successful in their own football career in the future.
“It’s going to be a great family occasion for the people of Bonnyrigg and I just hope we can go and do them proud.”
Since joining Bonnyrigg 18 months ago Horn has steered the club to a Super League title, but he never imagined he would lead the team into a match on this scale.
“It’s just a fantastic achievement, and brilliant for the people who have worked so hard at the club over the past few years,” he said.
“The likes of chairman Charlie Kirkwood, secretary Bob Dixon, treasurer Brendan Parkinson- these guys deserve their day in the sun, as do the players.”