Newington manager Eamon McCarthy has fired the first salvos ahead of today’s Irish Cup clash with Glentoran by declaring ‘there’s only one team under pressure and it’s not mine’.
The Glens league title challenge has all but fizzled out and with the Irish Cup now the east Belfast side’s last chance of a trophy this season, McCarthy is planning to make the potential banana skin that the Amateur League side will pose as slippery as possible.
“This isn’t a Glentoran team of old that you would have been facing with a fear that they could put double figures past you,” said McCarthy.
“There is a definite chink in their armour and they haven’t been performing well at home.
“If we could go there and keep them out until half-time then only one team is under pressure.
“No team likes to be playing under pressure and players don’t usually play well under pressure.
“If you’re organised and hard to break down you can make it difficult and that’s what we plan to do.
“We’ll be going to the Oval with a game-plan and if the players stick to that then I believe we’ll at least give them a game.
“Overall there is only one team under any pressure in the tie and it’s not us.”
A trip to face either Glentoran or Linfield is the draw that every Amateur League club that makes it to this stage of the Irish Cup dreams of.
While the financial rewards can be great for clubs who often live from hand-to-mouth at intermediate level, McCarthy has learned from previous Irish Cup battles with Larne, Glenavon and Portadown that there is one major drawback.
“I’ve learned from experience that you don’t get much from referees when you go up against senior teams,” he said.
“They are calling players by their first names and any 50-50 decision goes the way of the bigger team.
“Financially the draw is great for our club. Sponsorship is hard to come by, so half the gate from a game at the Oval and prize money from the sponsors will be very welcome.”