Barca’s conquerers lying in wait

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PAUL Sheerin believes tomorrow’s (Saturday) cup replay against Inverurie Locos could be one of the biggest games of his Arbroath career.

Because if the Lichties manage to overcome the Highland League side at Gayfield, they will be rewarded with a fourth round tie against Scottish champions Celtic at Parkhead.

At 3-0 up on Saturday against Locos at Harlaw Park, the Maroons looked certain of a definite place in the next round.

But a superb comeback by the home side saw them level the game at 3-3 in added time, meaning the two teams must face each other again tomorrow.

And even though the boss admits the reward of facing the team that beat Barcelona on Wednesday is a huge incentive, they have to remain focused on tomorrow’s clash.

He explained to HeraldSport: “We would have wanted to win the game no matter what the draw brought us on Monday but knowing who it is know gives us extra incentive.

“But winning would be huge for both clubs, financially and to get the opportunity to play against the Scottish champions and the team which beat Barcelona on Wednesday.

“Now it is up to us to make sure we focus on tomorrow’s game and not get distracted by what could happen in the next round. We can’t think beyond tomorrow yet.

“But there is no getting away from the fact that it is massive and probably one of the biggest games I have been involved in at the club.”

The Lichties can count on home advantage in the cup replay after spending the last four weeks out on the road.

And Mr Sheerin is hopeful this will work in their favour.

He said: “Having home advantage is a bonus as our home form is a lot better.

“Hopefully we will get a good crowd and everybody will get behind us.

“I know it is a cliché but the crowd can make a difference and it really does give players a lift.”

The boss will have a full squad to chose from with only youngster Connor Birse an injury doubt.

Inverurie Locos were something of an unknown quantity for Arbroath on Saturday, but now the boss knows not to underestimate the Highland League side.

He explained: “They are definitely in your face and hard working and also have good quality up front.

“The player Gauld who scored two of their goals was excellent and they have good experience in midfield in Graham Stewart.

“Three or four times this season they have come back after being two or three goals down and they work their socks off right until the last minute.

“I thought we were decent going forward and through the middle but we lost some really bad goals and that was the most disappointing thing.”