McEwan's can-do attitude fires up Town bid to avenge Medda cup defeat

BRIAN McEWAN is psyched up for an Emirates Scottish Cup revenge mission against Irvine Meadow on Saturday.

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Brian McEwan is banking on a big home support for Saturday's clash at Greenfield
Brian McEwan is banking on a big home support for Saturday's clash at Greenfield

The Ayrshire big guns travel through to Shettleston's Greenfield Park for their fourth-round replay.

And classy midfielder McEwan is urging his team-mates to put on a performance that proves the lowly Central First Division outfit's 2-2 first game draw was no fluke.

The 23-year-old is still nursing the scars from four years ago when Medda ran out convincing 4-0 winners on their last cup visit to Glasgow's east end.

And he is rubbishing any notion that the Town are about to get their comeuppance for daring to think they could secure a last-16 place at the expense of the reigning West Region champions.

Brian remembers that game only too well as he is one of three survivors from that side along with Chrissy McCormick and goalkeeper Gary Keenan likely to figure in Shettleston's starting line up on Saturday.

He said: "James McArthur also played, but he has been injured and will not recover in time for Saturday. Medda gave us a bit of a pasting on the day. Richie Barr demonstrated how much of a class act he is by scoring a hat-trick.

"But I think they will discover we are not so easy to brush aside in this week's encounter.

"We achieved a massive result in earning this replay and there is no reason to think we cannot serve up a repeat of the same battling qualities and willingness to defend from the front to make it equally as difficult for Irvine Meadow at our place.

"They were a top side two years ago and still are, but this is a fitter, younger and more up-for-it Shettleston than they faced on their last visit here and to be unbeaten in our last nine games says everything about our great will to win.

"The togetherness in our camp is second to none and this is easily the best Shettleston team I've played in."

Fans' favourite Brian ended up at Shettleston five years ago following a totally unexpected fall from grace.

He had been one of a clutch of prospective Celtic stars playing as a full-timer for almost three years in various youth sides alongside Paul Caddis, Kevin Colley, James Forrest and Ross Hepburn (now at Pollok) and it came as a hammer blow when he was released as an 18-year-old.

But he landed on his feet with a move to Kilmarnock where he was voted Young Player of The Year only for the rug to be pulled from under him when Jim Jeffries revealed his contract could not be renewed due to cutbacks.

Brian featured as a trialist in a couple of pre-season friendly matches for Pollok. However, Jim Sinnett's hesitation over signing him allowed Town gaffer Hugh Kelly to get his foot in the teenager's front door in Partick.

Brian added: "I had a big mate Ross McIntosh who played for Shettleston at that time and Shug used him to persuade me to turn out in a friendly match against Stranraer and immediately after I signed on the dotted line.

"I'm not going to pretend everything has gone according to plan since because the fact I am playing at Central First Division level shows it hasn't.

"I have had opportunities to move elsewhere, including a couple of high-profile approaches at the start of this season.

"But Shug has been a man of his word in going out and strengthening the team to ready us for a promotion push.

"Previous Shettleston teams have tended to get themselves into challenging positions only to fall away after Christmas, but that is not looking likely with the current playing squad.

"Top notch signings like Jamie Doyle and Gary Smith along with club captain Colin Crichton are the spine of the team and the rest of us have taken a massive lift from their presence about the place.

"Saturday has all the makings of a fantastic occasion and the tie has caught the imagination of local folk who are promising to turn out and give us their backing.

"So it makes for a great atmosphere as Irvine Meadow always bring a big support."

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