02/08/2015

The Blue Toon squad are counting down the minutes to kick-off at Ibrox as they get set to play in the biggest League Cup tie of the round. Jim McInally's squad is fighting fit, and barring two players out for non-footballing reasons, he can pick a strong starting XI.

Earlier this week young Rangers midfielder Tom Walsh said the game is a "cup final" for Peterhead against a much bigger team. But the form sheet tells and different story, and McInally said he resents the suggestion his boys in blue are just there to make up the numbers.

McInally said: "That's funny coming from the boy, considering Walsh struggled to get a game for Stenhousemuir last year. I also read on their website that Mark Warburton is treating it as part of their preseason.

"It would be nice if those were the circumstances - they're playing preseason and we're playing a cup final."

The Blue Toon boss said the squad have performed better than ever in preseason and on the training ground to put themselves in contention for today's clash. His biggest job? Ensuring the players do not overestimate the Gers.

"My job has been to get the message across that although this is a new-look Rangers team, they're not world beaters. I've got to make sure our players don't overestimate them and run scared. They are fallible and we can deny them space. If we do that, we've got enough up top ourselves to cause a problem.

"What needs to happen is for Rangers to not be at their best and we need to be at our best. If that's the situation then we can cause an upset. If not, we could be in trouble."

All of the Peterhead squad are fit enough to be in contention for a starting berth at Ibrox however last week's starters Nicky Riley (who is attending a family wedding) and Ally Gilchrist (loan conditions) will not feature.

"St Johnston caused a problem not letting the boy Ally Gilchrist play and Nicky's away. That's difficult because they were two top performers last week.

"The good news is Jamie Redman is going to be fit so he will come into the side."

McInally added: "I've had phone calls from everybody telling me that Rangers looked impressive against Hibs last weeked, but anybody who went to Brechin would have seen us playing well. It's not a lost cause. There's a chance Rangers will underestimate us because nobody's even given us a chance."

The two sides have only ever met five times in their histories, but four of those clashes came during the Gers tumultuous season in the Third Division. During the 2012/13 campaign, Peterhead picked up four points from the four ties including a memorable 2-1 win at Ibrox.

Both Rory McAllister and Scot Ross were on the score sheet that day and will hope to steal the headlines again today.