Drinkell hopes to toast more success

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The Independent Online
Kevin Drinkell will be kicking every ball as he watches his Stirling Albion team face Aberdeen in the Coca-Cola Cup quarter-finals today.

The former Rangers, Norwich City, Coventry City and Grimsby Town striker admits he would love to pull on the No 9 shirt and get involved in the action.

Instead as manager of the First Division minnows he will have to settle for a place on the touchline at Forthbank.

"That's the only disappointment for me," he said. "My players know that and know what football means to me.

"But as long as they go out there and try and express themselves, I will be happy. The way we play we are always liable to score. My hope is that we don't shoot ourselves in the foot by conceding an early goal.

"We need everyone to be resilient. If we start the match well, then we have a chance of staying in it."

Stirling caused one of the biggest shocks in years when they demolished the Scottish Cup winners, Kilmarnock, 6-2 in the last round.

Craig Taggart, man of the match on that memorable night, will not figure against Kilmarnock. He is out of contract and intends furthering his career in Europe in the German Second Division with Saarbrucken.

Drinkell said: "It is always disappointing when you lose good players from your squad. I am trying to build a pool of players here, not lose them, but we have to live with it."

Ricky Gillies could make his first start for Aberdeen after his pounds 350,000 summer transfer from St Mirren. He came on as substitute in the 1-1 draw against Dundee United two weeks ago after missing the opening weeks of the season with a nagging groin injury.

Goalkeeper Jim Leighton and striker Billy Dodds, who helped Scotland defeat Belarus 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Aberdeen on Sunday, are also expected to figure in the match.

Drinkell said: "They may have made a poor start to the season but they are a team full of internationals, who need to be respected.

"The signals I have been getting is they are a better side than their results suggest."

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