Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran can't afford Irish Cup upset against Ards: Scott Young

By Scott Young

Glentoran's rearranged Irish Cup fifth round battle against Ards tonight is a potential banana skin but they have to win it or their season could end with a whimper.

It's a huge game as the Glens aren't going to win the league and although you may have heard some optimism coming out of The Oval following Alan Kernaghan's appointment, the reality is that they will not be a top two club for another three or four years.

I like the way Alan conducts himself and everyone knows I'm a Glenman but considering the circumstances the club are in at the moment, this Irish Cup carries huge importance. There is always the possibility of securing European qualification but that is not an easy task when you look at the strength of their rivals.

I'm tipping the Glens to get through because they cannot afford to lose. Ards pose a huge threat but the Glens have performed miracles in the Irish Cup, winning it twice in three seasons under Eddie Patterson, and I don't expect them to slip up here. Then again, I'm sure most of us believed Linfield would shoot down Ballymena United in the County Antrim Shield final!

Healy is right, refs must improve

I thought Linfield manager David Healy was spot on when he said after the County Antrim Shield final that the standard of refereeing in Irish League football needs to improve.

It’s got to get better. We have seen referees get big decisions wrong and managers, players and supporters are frustrated.

David was angry but it wasn’t a rant — he made very valid points, was concise and controlled and a lot of people will agree with what he said. I was at the Chelsea match at the weekend when John Terry scored a late offside goal and in England’s Premier League the officials are making mistakes but I’d like to see our referees learn from their errors.

When I played, referees like Alan Snoddy and Leslie Irvine talked to you during games and still asserted their authority. I think modern refs are like robots and there’s little human interaction.

They are getting paid good money so we need them to do their jobs right and when that doesn’t happen they should be taken off Premiership duty for a while and understand why.

That is not happening, however, as the pool of refs we have isn’t big enough.

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