Carluke Rovers manager John Dunn admits that losing an early goal drained confidence from his underdogs in last Saturday’s 6-0 humbling at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.
There will now be no repeat of last season’s brilliant run to the last 16 of the Scottish Junior Cup for Rovers, as the Central Division 2 outfit were crushed by the Super Premier cracks.
“This sounds daft but we started well for the first 10 minutes,” said Dunn, who was taking charge of his first Rovers match after recently being installed as Colin Slater’s replacement.
“But then we lost the first goal and it seemed that confidence just drained from the team. It was 5-0 at half-time but then I tweaked a couple of things.
“The only goal we lost in the second half was a penalty. So not to lose a goal from open play in the second period was quite pleasing.”
Dunn added: “It was very tough for us playing against a team from the top league.
“It was a step up for us but a good learning curve for everybody.
“We fought for each other in the second half, when there was more energy.”
Dunn said that, despite the poor result, he had still enjoyed his first day in charge of the John Cumming Stadium team.
But the weight of expectation will again be on his team this Saturday as they return to league duty at home to Vale of Leven in a game crucial to Rovers’ promotion hopes.
“This is a huge game for the club,” he said.
“If we want to be challenging near the top we need to be winning.
“If we can pick up three points we are going to be right back in the promotion mix as a lot of the top teams are playing against each other.
“It is must win for us.”
Rovers, who go into the match having lost three of their last four league games, will be without the unavailable Mark Weir.