It’s a tall order, but Davy McAlinden is heading to Clandeboye Park with plenty of optimism that his Larne team can cause an upset in the Intermediate Cup by turning over much-fancied Bangor.
“Their performance last weekend in bringing Premier League side Warrenpoint Town to a replay in the Irish Cup shows what a good team the Seasiders are, and it just emphasises the toughness of the task that faces us this week.
“But we will give it our best shot and see what happens,” promised the Larne manager.
“I had other footballing commitments last Saturday and wasn’t able to get down to see the match but I had them watched and, by all accounts, they performed very well in testing conditions which obviously were not conducive to good football.
“The feedback I’ve been receiving is very good from their point of view and I don’t subscribe to the theory they will be any less focused on our game because of the replay a couple of days later.
“But we didn’t need to see them drawing with Warrenpoint to know what a quality team Bangor are.
“They have plenty of guys with Irish League experience behind them and they have been consistent in our division all season long and we will have to be well up to the mark to get a result.
“We have been quietly going about our business for the last fortnight and our preparation has been thorough.
“We don’t have any injury worries, apart from the fact that Scotty Irvine is still out as he has been for a few weeks.
“But, once, again I have to say that four of the six new recruits are ineligible because they are cup-tied,” reminded McAlinden, who advises that the prospect of facing such a difficult assignment on the new artificial pitch is not something he worries about.
“When these surfaces were introduced a few years ago managers used them as excuses for poor performances or bad results, but everybody is used to them now and it’s the way the game is going.
“We train on one so, whatever happens on Saturday, we’ll not be complaining about the pitch.”