Glentoran midfielder Shane McCabe is driven by the desire to turn around his — and the club’s — season.
McCabe is expected to step into a fierce midfield battle against Linfield in the Co-Operative Insurance Cup quarter-final first leg showdown at the Oval on Saturday (1pm).
Dean Fitzgerald must serve a one-match ban and now the Fermanagh man is ready to showcase his undoubted talent once more.
After shining for the Glens last season, this campaign has been a frustrating one to date for the midfield maestro but he is ready to turn a corner.
Disappointing results — including the 6-0 hammering at home to Coleraine — have damaged morale and McCabe, who was sent off in the defeat to Crusaders, also turned up late for a game against Glenavon because of work commitments.
“I had a great season last year but I guess every player has a bad patch and hopefully I can put this behind me,” he said. “The Glenavon incident was unacceptable and it was my fault — I accept responsibility for that.
“The sending off against Crusaders also hurt but I’m looking ahead to a massive month and three games against Linfield as well as other important league games.
“Deano and Richard Clarke have been playing in midfield and it is up to me to impress again and try to get back into the team.
“These are big games and our objective is always to win trophies and that means beating Linfield over the two legs. Ideally, we want to nick a goal and keep a clean sheet.
“The manager (Alan McDonald) took a lot of criticism after the Coleraine defeat but the players are responsible for that performance — the biggest defeat in my career — and it will be etched in all our memories for a long time.
“In many ways it would be good to answer the critics by turning the season around and winning silverware. Each of the players has had to analyse what we have done right and wrong and we are now untied in where we want to go to from here.”
The Glens have yet to beat Linfield this season in three clashes and McCabe knows the midfield scrap will be crucial.
“Alan (McDonald) tells us if you win the midfield battle that spreads around the team and I know how vital it is to stamp your authority in the middle,” added McCabe. “Linfield have quality players like Robbie Garrett, Jamie Mulgrew and particularly Michael Gault. I enjoy playing against them, it is a ferocious battle but also a fair one.
“The Blues may have not won any of their last few games but they will be all guns blazing on Saturday, as always. These games are always more intense than other matches.
“Hopefully, with 100 per cent commitment, we can grab the game by the scruff of the neck.”