New Saints relishing Livingston clash


Mike Sheridan

The New Saints continue their Scottish Cup odyssey with a trip to high-flying Livingston this weekend, with boss Craig Harrison insisting his team are up to the task of juggling success in the league with involvement in three cup competitions.

The Saints sit top of the Welsh Premier League and will take on Connahs Quay in the semi-finals of the Nathaniel MG cup two days after Sunday’s game, as well as facing a tricky tie with Newtown in the third round of the Welsh Cup in December.

But boss Harrison insists his team's desire to compete on all fronts remains strong.

“We’re really looking forward to it. A lot of people were questioning whether we’d be playing a weakened team this season or whether we’d be taking our eye off the league, but we haven’t," he said.

“Whatever game we play in, we want to win. We’ve proved that in the league cup games, where we’ve beaten both Bala and Bangor City who are both good strong teams and we’ve done really well.

“We’ve got a week with no games now and we’ll be using it to prepare as best we can. We travel up to Livingston on Saturday, where we’ll train and stay overnight ahead of the game.

“Steve Evans and Scott Ruscoe went up to watch Livingston two weeks ago, and we’ve also looked at their last three games – so we know as much as we were able to know without seeing them week in, week out. We’ll prepare for this game as we do for our European games.”

Teams from Wales and Northern Ireland join their Scottish counterparts in this year’s revised format of the Irn-Bru Cup and Saints midfielder Aeron Edwards believes The Saints will benefit from the experience gained on their last trip north, when they emerged 3-1 victors against Forfar Athletic.

“We’ll have to adapt to the way Livingston play and I’m sure it’ll be a great occasion," he said.

“I think they’ll play in quite a similar way to Forfar, but they will have a lot more quality on the ball and in their passing. I’m sure they’ll press quite high up the pitch and make it difficult for us, so I’m sure it will be a great game.”

Sunday’s game will be screened live on S4C from 3.45pm.

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