Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

McCreadie plans biggest shock of all

Roy McCreadie knows all about giving Belfast’s ‘Big Two’ a bloody nose.

During his time as manager of Omagh Town, Big Roy regularly defied the odds to deck Linfield and Glentoran.

But all McCreadie’s past achievements will pale into insignificance if his Mid Ulster League minnows Omagh United can upset the Glens at the Oval tomorrow in the fifth round of the Irish Cup.

McCreadie chuckles at the memory of some of his battles with the Big Two.

“At times their fans were more interested in giving me abuse than getting behind their own team — which suited me fine.

“But there was never any malice — it was a bit of banter.

“I’m looking forward to going back to the Oval. I haven’t seen the Glentoran fans for a few years so hopefully they will give me a good reception!

“I remember one night we beat the Glens 4-1 at the Oval and Michael McHugh scored a hat trick. I’d settle for that again!

“Unfortunately Tommy Cassidy lost his job the next day. But that’s the sort of pressure Linfield and Glentoran managers are under,” said McCreadie.

Omagh United have beaten Amateur League sides Kilmore Rec — who subsequently won the Steel & Sons Cup — and Sport & Leisure to earn their place in the hat with the senior clubs.

“When we came out of the hat with Glentoran it was a dream draw for us,” said McCreadie.

“We are massive underdogs but we have earned the right to play the Glens and there are always shocks in the cup.

“Glentoran’s results have been inconsistent this season. We have a game plan and we are looking forward to the match.

“Who knows, maybe there’s a recipe for a shock. But we would have to play above ourselves and Glentoran would have to play below their capabilities.

“We know we are up against it but at the same time we are not going there just to make up the numbers. All the pressure is on Glentoran.

“All I’m asking for from my team is a good performance.

“We have a few players who have played in the Irish League Seamus Fanthorpe is our skipper and would probably be the best known, while Benny Mitchell is a striker who gets among the goals.

“Preparations haven’t been ideal because of the weather but it’s the same for everybody.

“Obviously I would have liked to see Glentoran play but that hasn’t been possible with so many matches off.

“As a senior club they should certainly be fitter than us.”

And McCreadie feels the Irish Cup represents Glentoran’s best chance of a major trophy.

“I would see Linfield as the title favourites now that they have signed Peter Thompson. That was a massive coup by (manager) David Jeffrey — that could be the difference between drawing games and winning games,” he said.

And McCreadie, showman that he is, admits he would love to be back in the Irish League spotlight.

“I am enjoying the challenge at Omagh United at the moment but if the right offer from an Irish League club came along I would certainly look at it,” he revealed.

“But Omagh United are a progressive club and so far it’s been a real adventure.”

It was never going to be anything else with Big Roy at the helm.

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