Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint ready to shock Clilftonville

By Graham Luney

Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray is confident he’s done his homework on Cliftonville and his men are ready for one of the toughest Irish Cup tests.

The Reds will be hot favourites to roll over the Championship Two side tomorrow afternoon at Milltown Playing Fields (2pm), but Gray says Eddie Patterson’s side can expect a battle.

Gray joked that the fifth round tussle will be ‘a walk in the park’ for his side who remain unbeaten in seven league matches, but when the first whistle sounds, the minnows hope to spring a major surprise and send the Premier League giants home with their tails firmly between their legs.

“We couldn’t have been handed a tougher game as Cliftonville are one the best teams in the Premiership,” admitted Gray.

“We have played each other a few times and I think I know the Cliftonville team well.

“I’m friendly with their goalkeeper John Connolly and you don’t become the number one there unless you are real quality.

“It’s a big day for the players, but we are confident in our own ability and we haven’t been beaten yet in the league which is very encouraging.

“We have to give them a run for their money and if we can be clinical in front of goal and take our chances then anything is possible.”

Cliftonville should have too much firepower for their junior rivals, but they won’t be taking on a side which is cowering with fear.

As well as being unbeaten in their league campaign, Town boast the best attacking and defensive record in Championship Two.

Lying fifth in the league, an Irish Cup win would send confidence levels soaring.

“Things have been going very well,” added Gray. “I think the players deserve a reward for all the hard effort they have put in and a win over Cliftonville would be an amazing achievement. “There have been a few shocks in the FA Cup across the water. Hopefully we can celebrate one ourselves.”

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