Team spirit is behind Bangor's hot season
Bangor manager Garth Scates has hailed the team spirit at his club ahead of their appetising Irish Cup tie against Queen's.
Neither side would have dreamed about an Irish Cup semi-final at the start of the season, but that's the carrot ahead of today's intriguing last eight clash between the Belfast Telegraph Championship One side and Championship Two university outfit.
Scates, of course, was an excellent player in his day, enjoying success at Linfield and now he is proving himself to be a capable manager.
He took over at Bangor in January last year when they were struggling in their division. Now they are third in the table, with games in hand, in the quarter-finals of the Intermediate Cup and at the same stage of the Irish Cup.
Modestly, Scates puts the transformation, aided by assistant manager Jeff Montgomery and coach Paul Kee, down to the attitude of his players.
"What's great about the club is that we are a group of boys who are mates," says Scates.
"The boys go out with each other at the weekend and the team spirit is very good.
"From Christmas to the end of last season when we were in a dogfight at the bottom, it was a constant worry. But the players have been brilliant because since we have been in, they have backed us and this season we are doing well. It's down to the good attitude of the squad.
"Queen's deserve respect. They are going well in their league and beat us in pre-season.
"Like us they are a group who will all be mates. That togetherness helps and can be like an extra man some days.
"We know we are favourites, but Warrenpoint were favourites when we beat them in the last round, so we are aware anything can happen."