Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran's Robbie McDaid determined to take chance to silence Windsor roar

 

By Graham Luney

Glentoran's new goalscoring hero Robbie McDaid is now relishing the chance to shoot down Linfield at Windsor Park today. In his younger years, the Omagh man was brought to a few Big Two battles by his father and former Glentoran ace John but this time he will be centre stage, ready to embrace the cauldron of noise.

The 20-year-old has wrestled with Linfield at the international venue in Glenavon colours but the former York City striker accepts this is a very different proposition.

Since joining the east Belfast club last month, he has established an effective partnership with Curtis Allen and already netted three goals, including a double blast in the 2-2 draw at Glenavon.

His goal in the 2-0 win at home to Warrenpoint Town last weekend was the finish of a natural goalscorer and the Blues, who have recorded four clean sheets on the spin, have been warned.

McDaid has already had the Glens fans on their feet and hero status awaits if he can mastermind a rare defeat on David Healy's side.

"It will be my first taste of the Big Two and it's the biggest game in Belfast so it's going to be a great experience," he said.

"My dad brought me to these games when I was younger but it's special to play a part in them.

"I've been to the old Windsor, playing for Glenavon against Linfield, but this will be a cracking atmosphere and I'm looking forward to it.

"The fans of both clubs will be relishing it and we are certainly going into it in confident mood.

"Curtis (Allen) was mentioning to me that there's a different feel to this Big Two game, I don't believe there is huge pressure on us, we have had a few good performances and we can give them a game.

"Linfield deserve respect as the champions but there is never any fear in football, you go into a game to win it and it's not a pivotal game in the sense that our season will be defined by it.

"It's early days but a win over the Blues at Windsor would be a huge confidence and morale boost for the boys.

"It's 11 v 11, with two goalposts and the goals the same size.

"If we perform we can beat them and we have belief. We've a young team but we are hungry to improve and deliver for the club."

McDaid left Glenavon in 2014 keen to make a big impact in England but from Leeds United he progressed to Lincoln City and then York City before attempting to resurrect his career with Glentoran.

"It's been great so far and everyone has been brilliant with me," he said. "It's a new group of players and manager and everyone is pulling in the one direction.

"It's a new and exciting challenge for me but there is a great buzz around the place and everyone is hungry to get this club back to where it belongs.

"I can't really comment on last season but I understand it was a long and draining one for the players and fans.

"But this is a fresh start with a fresh group of players.

"It can take time for a new squad to get going but we have a few older heads like Elliott Morris, Steven Gordon and Curtis Allen who can guide the younger boys.

"The early season form has been encouraging but no one is getting ahead of themselves.

"You need to find some consistency if you want to challenge at the top of the table but what's important is we can win games and score goals.

"My girlfriend lives in England but making sacrifices is what football is all about.

"I'm enjoying my football again and it makes a difference when you have a smile on your face.

"That was one of the key objectives in me coming home, I want to enjoy my football and be part of something special at a club like Glentoran."

Former Glens favourite Jordan Stewart, now at Linfield, is expected to make his first competitive appearance against his old club.

"I haven't a bad word to say about the Glens," said the winger. "But I'm with Linfield now and determined to perform well for them.

"They are a very professional club and the squad is very hungry for success.

"I just see this game as another opportunity to win and get the three points."

• The Dundee United v Linfield IRN-BRU Cup third round fixture will take place at 5.15pm on Saturday, October 7.

The showdown will be broadcast live on the BBC Alba channel.

Linfield

Glentoran

Danske Bank Premiership:

Windsor Park, Today, 3pm

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