DAVID GREIG’S faith in his Blantyre Vics players has never wavered which maybe explains why he’s going around with a broad smile on his face after the Castle Park outfit showed signs of getting back to their best by chalking up back-to-back victories (for the first time this season) over Lugar Boswell and Shotts Bon Accord.

And to underpin the confidence lift afforded by his side’s return to winning ways, Greggy has significantly supplemented his playing hand by snapping up former Aberdeen, St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Morton and East Fife defender Kevin Rutkiewicz.

The ambitious Vics gaffer revealed: “Kevin comes from the Royston area in Glasgow and is someone I’ve known for years so hearing he wanted to drop down into the Juniors to extend his playing career forced me into putting everything to one side until I had his name on a form.

“I had to move fast and under the radar because Yoker Athletic No.2 Martin Hardie is a former team-mate and wanted Kevin to join him and Steven Reilly at Holm Park, but thankfully we headed off their interest.

“He’s 35 years of age nowadays and boasts a pedigree to be admired in Scottish football as well as a stint as player/coach with Carolina Rail-Hawks in the North American League so I’m keen to use his experience to the full so Kevin is taking on a player/coach role here at Castle Park.

“He’s an instantly likeable type devoid of any big-time Charlie attitude despite his background and you can visibly see the guys already responding to him both on the training ground and out on the pitch.”

Rutkiewicz looks to be a racing certainty to make his Scottish Junior Cup debut on Saturday when the Vics play host to Fife opponents Rosyth FC Fife' however Greggy was giving precious little away about his starting line-up when looking forward to the Second Round clash earlier today.

He insisted: “I was gutted when the game was called off last weekend following a pitch inspection because it ended hopes of keeping our momentum going, however the extra week could prove hugely beneficial in terms of helping players recover from injuries.

“As things stand David Green (torn medial ligament), Colin Marshall (knee), Kevin Macklin (foot) and Brian McLaughlin (knee) are the definite non-starters while Gordon Duchus, Stevie Dymock and young Liam Moran are in the very doubtful category.

“It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve never known an injury crisis of these proportions throughout my years in football and it’s astonishing to think only 11 competitive fixtures have been played to date yet our entire 19-man squad, inclusive of two goalkeepers, have already missed at least one game through injury.”

Rutkiewicz apart,Greig also has team skipper Terry Hewitt and the trio of Liam Mcshane, Kevin Green and Alex Amos vying for the central defensive places against Rosyth, however this wealth of playing riches is not prevalent elsewhere.

He added: “We have centre-backs coming out of our ears but striker-wise Wasso Ferguson has bitten the bullet to play through injury in the past three weeks and he’s performed so well that I fear the team will be weakened if I give him an overdue rest.

“A similar situation exists with Mark Thompson who has been at the very top of his game anchoring our midfield and using his great experience to good effect.

“Thommo is working up North all week but he’s the ultimate professional and will make sure he gets a few fitness work-outs to keep himself ticking over and in a state of readiness for the cup tie.”

Reigning trophy holders Auchinleck Talbot head East to meet Tranent and competitive stopper Mark Campbell reckons the Ayrshiremen will be unaffected by their 2-0 reverse in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup contest with Cumbernauld Colts.

Sparky revealed: “The handicap of going without both our regular central defenders proved too much on the day and we can have few complaints over the outcome.

“I was nursing a back injury at the same time as big Martin McGoldrick was overseas on business but Tommy Sloan was loath to risk playing me ahead of facing Tranent and that tells everyone where his priorities lie.

“ It’s looking like both Goldie and myself will be ready to return … if wanted … and our availability presents the chance for Willie Lyle and Stevie White to revert to their regular positions so the team could be a lot stronger this week.

“We’ve had our fair share of bad results this season and it’s time to get our act together so it’s no bad thing to be playing in the Junior Cup where we tend to serve up our best displays.”