Belfast Telegraph

Bangor boss McCurdy aims to keep friends with knock-out blow

By Stuart McKinley

Colin McCurdy loved his time as a player at Crusaders so much that he is planning to help them win the league this season — by sending them spinning out of the Irish Cup.

And it wouldn’t be the first time that current Bangor manager McCurdy has crushed the Seaview side’s Cup dreams.

Way back in 1980 McCurdy scored for Linfield as they beat the Crues in the decider at the Oval.

It took the north Belfast men until last season to return to the end-of-season showpiece, when they beat Cliftonville and while Stephen Baxter’s side are the holders McCurdy’s Seasiders will have no fear of Seaview.

“Nothing beats the Irish Cup for me and winning it with Linfield was a fantastic experience,” said McCurdy.

“Crusaders are a strong side and nine times out of 10 they would beat us, but we’re not going to Seaview to roll over.

“They are big favourites because they are the holders and are top of the Premiership and it’s as tough a game as we could have had, but we’re very much looking forward to the occasion.

“I enjoyed my time at Crusaders as a player, it’s a great club and I expect I’ll get a bit of stick from friends I still have there.

“I am sure they would settle for us beating them in the Irish Cup so that they can concentrate on winning the league. That’s the trade-off.”

While many managers have moaned about the 4G artificial pitch at Seaview, McCurdy won’t be joining them.

“We train on an artificial pitch and the players enjoyed it when we trained at Seaview on Wednesday night,” he said.

“I think the pitch will suit our game because we like to get the ball down and pass it.

“I think there’s been too much made of the pitch at Seaview.”

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