Arbroath boss Dick Campbell may have blasted the “ridiculous” early start to the season in the Betfred Cup but that won’t stop him from demanding his side go out and secure bragging rights in today’s derby tie against Montrose at Gayfield.
The veteran manager believes part-time sides should not be in competitive action until August and he will be without key players again because of holiday commitments.
However, despite that, Campbell may still decide to rest some star men against Stewart Petrie’s Gable Endies.
Campbell said: “I will probably only have 18 players at my disposal so everyone will be stripped for the game.
“Everyone knows by now what I think about the ridiculously early start to the season but we will be raring to go against Montrose.
“It is a local derby and hopefully there will be another big crowd at Gayfield.
“We have had lads missing because of holidays but I am really happy with the squad we have assembled for this season.
“Blair Yule scored on Tuesday against Alloa and he looks some player but all our new signings have definitely strengthened the squad.
“I have a few big decisions to make for the Montrose game. Ryan McCord, Mark Whatley and Josh Skelly may come in from the start and I might give the likes of Bobby Linn and Danny Denholm a rest.
“However, no matter what team I put out, they will be ready for a tough contest against Stewart’s side.”
That Montrose outfit is still licking its wounds after shipping six goals without reply in the Betfred Cup to Ross County earlier this week.
Petrie admits that it has been a testing time for his squad who will once again be missing the injured Michael Bolochoweckyj, Ryan Ferguson, James Redman, Danny Kavanagh, Matty Allan and Ross Campbell.
And the manager is calling for a rethink on the rule that forbids sides from playing trialists in the competition.
Petrie said: “We can certainly play better than we did against Ross County but we were well beaten by a right good Premiership side.
“They are physical, strong and I was really impressed by them.
“However, we can defend a lot better and they were not great goals to concede.
“It is important that we do not read too much into it but it was a hard lesson for some of the younger players.
“We regrouped at training on Thursday night and we told them we now have a derby to look forward to against a team that we want to strive to be beside.
“It will not be easy as Dick has assembled a right good squad.
“We will also have six players out so the squad will be stretched.
“I do not have a problem with the new format of the League Cup but I would like to be able to play trialists.
“We have had to play two Premiership sides in the space of four days in July and it would have been a help if we could have had a couple of trialists to boost our numbers.”