Fraserburgh v Rangers: We want to try to repay efforts volunteers put in the first time says proud Broch boss Cowie

Mark Cowie.

Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie insists they can’t repay the efforts of the volunteers who worked through the night on the Bellslea Park pitch.

But they will try their best to make them proud as they attempt to humble Rangers in the Scottish Cup fourth round.

The Gers visit Buchan tonight after the game, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 21, was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

On the Friday before that date, more than 120 volunteers worked through the night alongside club officials to try to thaw out the surface.

Sadly it wasn’t enough to get the game on – but the effort shown was heroic, with volunteers bringing heaters to the ground as they tried to make the pitch playable.

They also brought food and drink to keep spirits up.

Cowie says nothing he or his players do on the pitch tonight will repay the work of the volunteers.

But he says they will try everything to make them proud by beating the Govan outfit.

He said: “It was so humbling to experience that on the Friday, two days before the game was supposed to take place.

“I was there from lunchtime until midnight with the guys.

“And to see so many people give up their free time for no other reason than to try to support our club and get the game on.

“They just came down to help us and they all did their part. It was unbelievable to see.

“It’s made me a proud man to be manager of the club because when you see guys turning up in their droves, some of them who didn’t even have a ticket – they just wanted to come down to help.

“People were coming down with heaters to try to thaw the pitch and it was truly remarkable to stand there and see it.

“For the effort people put in on the Friday, into the Saturday morning, they deserved the game to go ahead.

“But we knew it was going to be off with the weather deciding to defeat us.

“It definitely wasn’t for a lack of effort. I take my hat off to them.

“And it definitely gives me something else to put into my team talk.

“We want to try to repay the effort the people put in – but we can’t pay back the effort put in.

“It’s impossible to pay back what they did that day, but we will try to make them proud and give them an occasion to remember.

“I’m not saying we’re going to win the game because that would be stupid to think we are going to beat Rangers.

“But as long as we come off the park having done our best and given our all then I’ll be happy with my guys if they do that.”

In a David v Goliath situation such as this, the underdog is always left with a dilemma on how to approach the game.

Do they attack and potentially lose a few goals trying to cause the opposition problems? Or do they defend deep and try not to concede, and then play on the counter-attack?

Cowie has no plans to change his attacking style and added: “I don’t want to change it because I have always had a go direct, get up for it, press high style.

“I’m going to do that because Rangers have quality players and if you sit off them they’ll create a chance and take it.

“I’d rather lose two or three more than sitting in, parking the bus and losing 1-0 because Rangers will score. That’s one thing I’m sure about – if we sit in, they will score.

“So I’m going to have a go and maybe show everyone that Fraserburgh are a decent side and that they can work hard and play football.

“That’s my aim, but it will definitely be more of having a go than sitting in and parking the bus.”

The tie being rearranged for tonight may be a good omen for the Broch.

On Saturday, January 31, 1959, they beat top-flight Dundee 1-0 at Bellslea in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Scottish Cup.

Now 59 years on, Cowie hopes his players can also make history.

“We’ve been made aware of the significance of the date and it would be nice to do it,” he said.

“I want to make my own history with my guys and let them take it.

“That game just reminds us that it can happen – it reminds us that normal, working-class players can compete against the very best in the country and they did that against Dundee that day.

“It’s nice that it’s on the same day because it might give us an added 5%.”

Cowie also revealed that the Fraserburgh squad started their work an hour early this morning so they can finish in the middle of the afternoon – giving them time to prepare for the game.

He said: “There’s such a gulf in lifestyles (between the players).

“My guys went into their work an hour earlier today so they can finish at 3pm.

“They are getting days off to prepare for the game.

“I’ve told them not to think they have to take their days off work and use up their holidays for this game – we’ve done it all our lives.

“All our lives we’ve gone to work in the morning and played a Highland League game on the Wednesday night.

“They will turn up regardless, that’s what it’s about being a part-time player.

“It’s about having to do your day job which is the most important things in their lives and then we have to go and do what we love afterwards.

“There’s a big gulf between the lifestyles but hopefully we’ll manage to reduce that gap a wee bit.”

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