Thurso players buzzing ahead of cup showdown, says manager Bremner
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Thurso manager Michael Bremner says his players are “buzzing” ahead of Saturday's Football Times Cup final.
The first silverware of the North Caley season will be at stake when the Vikings take on Caithness rivals Halkirk United at Wick's Harmsworth Park.
Bremner, who had a successful spell in charge of Halkirk United, was appointed earlier this month after Thurso's previous boss Stevie Reid announced his resignation.
The new manager's first game in charge was a 2-1 win away to Nairn County “A” on Saturday, a result that lifted Thurso up to eighth in the table. Now comes the eagerly awaited showdown with the Anglers.
“We feel good,” said Bremner, who is being assisted by Scott Davidson. “We had good numbers at training on Tuesday night. They're all buzzing, they're all excited about it.”
Goalkeeper Asa Sinclair, striker Marc Macgregor and midfielder Ben Sinclair are all set to return for the Vikings after missing the trip to Nairn. However, Thurso will be without their injured left-back Innes Mackintosh.
“Asa is back, Marc is back and Ben is back so they are going to make a big difference for us,” Bremner said.
“Innes had to come off on Saturday – he hurt his hamstring, so he is going to be out for a wee while.
"He was playing really well. He set up the first goal but he did something and his hamstring went.”
Bremner is upbeat about his team's prospects in the final, even though Halkirk are well ahead of them in the league table.
“I'm always positive,” he said. “I just hope we come through training unscathed.
“It'll be a tough game but hopefully a good one. I'm looking forward to it.”
The final kicks off at 2pm. If the match is level at 90 minutes it will go straight to penalties.
Michael Bremner got off to a winning start as Thurso manager with an away victory over Nairn County “A”.
The 38-year-old vowed when he was appointed that improving the Vikings' league position would be a priority, and Saturday's result had the desired effect as they moved up two places to eighth.
“That's what we were looking to do,” Bremner said after the 2-1 win.
“We'll pick away from now on and just see where we can get to. We'll take each game as it comes.”
It proved to be an eventful afternoon for Thurso's Conor Trueman, who scored an own goal, netted a penalty and then, a couple of minutes later, had another penalty saved.
The Vikings led at half-time through Connor MacIntosh's 39th-minute strike. Trueman put the ball into his own net on 51 minutes but his spot-kick six minutes later proved decisive.
“It should have been a lot more, to be honest," Bremner said. "We had a couple of goals disallowed and we missed another penalty.
“We should have maybe changed the penalty taker but he felt confident.
“The whole 90 minutes was good apart from five minutes into the second half. That was the only time that Nairn bothered us.
“I don't know if we switched off at half-time and it took us five minutes to get going again. But we controlled it quite well, I thought.”