Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Glenavon boss Quinn still believes in magic of the cup

If ever Glenavon needed Marty Quinn to sprinkle some of his Irish Cup magic dust over Mourneview Park it is now.

The Lurgan Blues’ season has reached a crossroads — one road could lead to a vast, barren desert while another could lead to the promised land.

The same, perhaps, could be said of tomorrow’s opponents Ballymena United who arrive in Lurgan for a Cup quarter-final clash knowing that this is their final shot at a cherished piece of silverware.

The Sky Blues haven’t won the Irish Cup since 1989 and Glenavon haven’t lifted the top knockout prize in the domestic game since 1997 when Quinn’s Cliftonville side lost 1-0 in the decider.

Quinn was a member of the inspirational Cliftonville side of 1979 that won the Cup and as Coleraine boss he guided the Bannsiders to two successive finals in 2003 and 2004, winning 1-0 against Glentoran and then losing by the same scoreline against the east Belfast side a year later.

The popular manager knows a thing or two about Irish Cup fairytales.

The Lurgan Blues, who have lost four league games on the spin, may be relieved to take a break from Carling Premiership action and a semi-final Irish Cup date would keep spirits high in mid-Ulster.

“I know that Roy (Walker) will have his side highly motivated for this game and we will have to match their determination and hunger,” said Quinn.

“My attitude is that if you want anything in life strongly enough you can get it. I have been lucky enough to have been involved in a few Irish Cup finals but it is the target that players and everyone else in the game should be aiming for.

“It’s why we love football. Do the players want to be in that semi-final draw at 5pm or just sit there with regrets, knowing what they will be missing out on. Hopefully, we can keep our season alive and the players will believe they can go all the way.”

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