Glentoran defender Colin Nixon doesn’t believe that the Glens’ surge into the Setanta Sports Cup final is as big a shock as many are making out.
Victories over St Pat’s and Drogheda United raised a few eyebrows up and down the island but Nixon, who will lead out the east Belfast men for tomorrow’s All-Ireland decider in the absence of suspended skipper Paul Leeman, says that he always knew they could beat the best that the eircom League had to offer.
Glentoran’s record in the competition until now has been sketcy, to say the least , but the Glens’ leading appearance maker felt that the time was right to make a real go of finally making a name for themselves in the competition.
“When we beat St Pat’s people were saying it was a big shock, but I didn’t see it that way,” said Nixon.
“We had to win to go through and I honestly knew we would beat them.
“We had played them away from home and should have won the game, and would have, only for a few incidents late in the match allowing them to get a draw.
“But after that I knew that we would beat them at the Oval.
“Then, having done that, we were really up for it against Drogheda and although we had to really battle to get through, again I was confident that we would. We have beaten two of their teams now and I really don’t see why we can’t do it again.
“We know we are going to have to fight again against Cork in the same way we did against St Pat’s and Drogheda but we have shown we can do that and we are ready for them.”
Meanwhile, Cork City boss Alan Matthews has been doing his homework ahead of tomorrow’s final.
The Rebel Army manager has run the rule over the Glens no less than four times this season and he is anticipating a tough encounter.
“I’ve seen them four times this year, most recently their last two games against Ballymena and Glenavon. They finished last season well, and this season they have got off to a flier,” he said.
“They beat Drogheda and St. Pats, and they hammered Linfield, and they come into this game on the back of a decent unbeaten run, so they are a good side and we will have to play well to get the right result.”