Colin Coates says Crusaders have “nothing to fear” when they come up against Sligo Rovers in next month’s Setanta Sports Cup semi-finals.
The Crues are the only Carling Premiership side left in the all-Ireland competition after Glentoran, Linfield and Cliftonville fell at the quarter-final hurdle.
Stephen Baxter’s side secured a stunning 2-0 aggregate win over Bohemians and skipper Coates feels they can go one step further and make the final.
“I know Sligo beat the Glens but they only drew 1-1 at the Oval and the Glens could have scored a few goals,” said the Northern Ireland international.
“We are confident after putting together some great cup runs this season and we have nothing to fear. It’s 11 v 11 and our cup form has been exceptional.
“For some reason we are mentally sharp in these games and we have been able to raise our game for the occasion, knowing you only get one shot.
“You don’t get a second bite of the cherry in cup rounds and we have been good at producing when we have to while Linfield have produced the consistency that wins league titles.”
The Crues host Carrick Rangers today knowing Michael Hughes’ side — who also have Seaview as their home this season — are fighting for their lives.
“There’s still a chance we can finish in the top four so although the manager may wish to make a few changes in the next few games you always want to win every game,” added Coates.
“I can’t see Linfield throwing away the league title now.”