Dundee United will make changes from their triumphant derby line-up for tomorrow’s Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup clash with Arbroath at Tannadice.
However, there will still be plenty experience in the Tangerines’ line-up and the mission will be the unchanged from recent league outings – to come away with a victory.
In the past couple of seasons United have used this competition to give many of their youth squad experience of top-team action.
While, however, several of their usual league starters will be given a day off tomorrow, the selection for this third-round tie will come from the first-team squad.
That means the likes of back-up goalie Deniz Mehmet and attacker Cammy Smith, who’ve spent most of their time on the bench during the first month-and-a-half of the season, are expecting to be handed starting places.
“There are a few bumps and bruises from last Friday night so we will be cautious on that,” said assistant boss Gordon Forrest.
“As it gets later in the week, we’re getting a clearer picture over possible changes but we will go into the game focused.”
The management team are also well aware this is a chance to keep fringe players match fit and reward some of them who’ve been working hard in training despite being out of the team right now.
“We have a large squad that we want to try to look at. We want to keep pushing people forward to provide competition,” added Forrest.
“Guys who haven’t been playing have been fantastic when they come off the bench.
“Nicky Clark has been starting but came off the bench last week and was excellent while Cammy Smith came on, scored and had another chance. Ian Harkes also came on and performed, so it is great.
“They have to keep that hunger and desire, those levels up. They have been working really hard and deserve to play but it has been difficult because the other lads have been performing to a high level.
“We need players pushing each other and we need the competition for places. We have the trust in the players that we can stick them in there and they can do a job.
“It is fantastic for a management staff to have these kind of options. That is a big part of winning week-by-week and winning championships.”
United are expected to be without central defender Mark Connolly after he limped out of last week’s derby with a recurrence of the hamstring problem that’s troubled him in recent weeks.
It’s not yet clear if the Irishman will be OK for next week’s Championship trip to Ayr United.
Star striker Lawrence Shankland was also limping when he came off against Dundee and, while that was just cramp, he may be rested for the Red Lichties clash tomorrow.
If the Terrors see off Arbroath they will go into the draw for the last 16 of the competition, which they won in 2017.
Those fourth-round ties will take place on the weekend of October 12/13.