Tennent's Irish Cup: Larne v Newry City
Larne coach Tim McCann says that while his side are sitting pretty at the top of the Championship, he expects Irish Cup opponents Newry City to provide a stern test on Saturday.
The runaway league leaders have gone off the boil somewhat recently, and McCann says the Irish Cup will provide a welcome distraction.
“Newry are a really good team, everybody saw that when they beat the current Irish Cup champions Coleraine recently,” he said.
“Darren Mullen has the team playing really well, they are fighting for their lives.
“They won’t have any fear coming to us, the only advantage we have is that it’s a home draw.
“They’re playing at a higher level and a faster pace at this moment in time.
“It’s a good game to take your mind off the league and tell the boys to go and enjoy themselves.
“Hopefully we can get a good run in the cup like we did last year,” he added.
“Yes we’re going well in the league, but everybody likes the Irish Cup and wants to do well in it.
“The guys who were involved last year know how much of a buzz it brought to the town.
“We’ll be giving it all we can and do all we can to go and win it.
“The aim of Tiernan (Lynch) and Kenny Bruce was to get us into the Premiership.
“We’re shaping up well for that at the minute, but it’s by no means over, there’s still a lot of football to be played.
“The Irish Cup is a nice venture away from all that and we’ll be giving it a good go.”
Newry boss Darren Mullen was bitterly disappointed after his side were beaten 2-1 by Institute and is now demanding a response from his players.
“It’s a contributing factor to morale and that’s the way I’m looking at it,” said Mullen of the Larne tie.
“If we play like that against Larne we’ll get hammered, that’s the long and short of it.
“It’s altered my thinking in how many players we need to bring in, in the window.”