McAusland talks up Cup final
St Mirren defender Marc McAusland is relishing the prospect of the Scottish Communities League Cup final after trying to put the Hampden date out of his mind until Saturday's league game with Dundee United was over.
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14. Marc McAusland
The players have been able to concentrate on their big game against Hearts since the goalless draw with United at St Mirren Park and Paisley-born McAusland can now join his fellow Buddies in talking up the final.
He said: "I think it was on the players' minds from a couple of weeks ago. I know it's hard to try to forget about something like that but we had to do it.
"The week leading up is going to be massive and full concentration will be on Sunday."
McAusland, who grew up a St Mirren fan, added: "There is a wee buzz about the town and there's flags and scarves about and everybody is talking about it.
"Most people you speak to are either going to the game or will be watching.
"It's massive for the club and hopefully we can get the result and bring the cup home."
On Tuesday, St Mirren received an extra 600 West Stand tickets after selling out their initial allocation and McAusland is looking to reward the fans.
"Obviously the fans are right behind us and are all looking forward to it as well as ourselves," he said. "It's going to be a massive occasion for us."
Hearts caretaker manager Gary Locke is not looking to talk up the showpiece though as he bids to keep his players grounded as they look to secure back-to-back trophies following their William Hill Scottish Cup win over Hibernian last year.
Locke told Hearts TV: "It will be the same type of preparation as the cup final last year - low-key, training as normal and get the boys lively and bubbly in training.
"We will just get them to do what we want them to do and make it as low key as possible.
"We will train as normal all week and towards the end of the week we will look to get things organised in terms of the team."