Blue Toon forward Niah Payne thinks whether it’s the English F.A. Cup or the Scottish Cup, cup competitions are a chance for teams to prove themselves against better sides and that gives the matches a different feel.
Peterhead travel to Lowland League Civil Service Strollers this afternoon and Payne said: “Cup competitions in any country are really big and cup ties are special because anything can happen. It’s one game, and it’s down to who it the better team on the day.”
The 23-year-old believes that last week’s performance against Queen Park was something the team felt they had in their locker even despite heading into it on the back of defeats from Airdrie and Cove Rangers as he explained: “It was a solid performance from the boys. We stuck to a game plan and had a solid shape throughout, and we got what I felt we deserved. I always felt like that if we stick to our game plan and shape, we can beat any team.”
“That performance proved that.”
Playing a side two leagues below, does mean that Jim McInally’s side will be the favorites with the bookies, but the Yorkshireman says that that won’t make a difference to their mindset.
“We’ll go into the game like any other game” said Payne before adding: “Never underestimating our opponents. We will have the same attitude as a league game and try and get the win. In any cup game, the team considered the underdogs will see it as a challenge to rise to. We need to match their enthusiasm and mentality, and if we do, I’m sure we’ll get the result.”
With some many of the Strollers squad being developed at Hearts and Hibs, Payne knows that they will fancy an upset as he said: “For them it’ll be a big stage, but for us it’ll be about showing them respect. They will have talented players and they’ll be keen to get a result against us. We will need to play at our best.”
It may well be an ideal game for Payne to get amongst the goals again, as the former Bradford City youth player has been without a goal in his last 3 appearances but knows that it’s also about the team.
Payne said: “I had a few weeks out with injury, then came back into the team. I want to get back to full fitness and get among the goals and start getting the assists like I did at the beginning of the season.”
“It’s always frustrating getting an injury, especially when I was on a run of good performances, but I’ve had good support from my family and teammates, so I want to get back to performing well for the team.”
“I feel like I’m ready to put in a performance on Saturday.”
Niah is also looking forward to playing in a different ground and atmosphere as he finished by saying: “It’s nice to visit somewhere new, and I’m sure they’ll have a big crowd and a good atmosphere. I’m looking forward to it, looking forward to a competitive game and putting in the best performance for the team.”