Hurt can provide the impetus

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ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin hopes the pain of losing 6-0 to Queen of the South earlier this month will spur them on in their Challenge Cup semi-final.

The Lichties have been paired with the Palmerston Park side and both teams will battle it out on October 14 for a place in the final.

It will be the Gayfield men’s first national cup semi-final in over 50 years and if they are successful, they will be the first Arbroath team ever to reach a national final.

And even though Mr Sheerin admitted he would have liked a kinder draw, he says the players will be up for the tie.

He told HeraldSport: “It’s not an ideal draw, especially with the travelling but at this stage beggars can’t be choosers.

“It would have been nice to be at home but the other teams left probably wanted us at home because we will be seen as the underdogs now.

“After going there a few weeks ago and getting that result we will definitely have a point to prove.

“But we can’t grumble about the draw because we have now given ourselves a chance at getting in the club’s first ever [national] cup final.”

Since the Lichties last faced Queen of the South, they have recorded some positive results and the boss is very keen for that to continue.

He said: “We’ve kept two clean sheets since then which is massive for us because it is something we have managed to do.

“I think the team is really starting to gel now so hopefully we will see more good performance from now on.”

Now the Lichties have to turn their attentions to their first league derby of the season when Forfar Athletic visit Gayfield tomorrow (Saturday).

The Station Park side are second in Division Two and the right result for Arbroath tomorrow would keep them in the mix at the top of the table.

And with several ex-players, such as Gavin Swankie and Keith Gibson, set to make a return to Gayfield, the boss knows it will be a feisty encounter.

He added: “Now with the draw out there and done that is on the back burner because we have a massive derby tomorrow.

“They are always great games. Although nothing beats playing Montrose, Forfar and Brechin games are always good too.

“They always have an extra edge for the fans and with ‘Swanks’ and ‘Gibby’ coming back there is always a bit of extra spice.

“Forfar have been excellent so far and had a great pre-season. They have continued that in their league form.

“They will want to stay up there as long as possible but so do we and will be a big one for us to win.”

Mr Sheerin will have a full squad to chose from apart from goalkeeper Darren Hill who is still sidelined with an arm injury.

But the boss is pleased with his progress.

He explained: “He is going into a smaller cast for three weeks so hopefully he is healing well.”