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Murray in mood to rattle the Blues

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 19/03/2016

Hitting back: Darren Murray hopes Cliftonville can inflict some revenge on Linfield after their Irish Cup defeat
Hitting back: Darren Murray hopes Cliftonville can inflict some revenge on Linfield after their Irish Cup defeat

Darren Murray admits Cliftonville are still hurting from their Irish Cup defeat to Linfield - and has warned the Blues to expect a backlash this afternoon.

The sides meet at Solitude for the second time in a fortnight, with the Reds intent on revenge.

And while the chance of cup glory has gone, second place is still within reach for Gerard Lyttle's side if they win.

Murray admits the cup loss was hard to take, and wants to channel that frustration into today's rematch.

"Yes, we're hurting - you hurt after every game," the striker said. "If you don't get the result everyone goes home hurting.

"We just have to keep going and hopefully the team can pull together over the next couple of weeks and push back up the table."

Linfield claimed a 3-0 win in a bad-tempered quarter-final at Solitude. Ross Gaynor scored twice and Andrew Waterworth was also on target against the Reds, who had Conor Devlin and Caoimhin Bonner sent off.

However, Murray is expecting a very different game this afternoon. "It will be totally different," he said. "You're looking at three points instead of going into the next stage of the cup.

"We need the three points, they need them too, so it will be a great game.

"If we win it brings the gap down to two points and then you're going into the following games with everything to play for. But we just have to take it one game at a time."

While the title is beyond Cliftonville, Murray insists there is still plenty to play for, and is expecting a hard-fought contest.

"It's Cliftonville v Linfield, you don't expect any different," he said.

"They are great games to play in. The Crues are looking strong but we can still stop Linfield from challenging them.

"It's always good to beat your rivals and stop them achieving what they want."

Cliftonville boss Lyttle has challenged his players to produce a big performance after their Irish Cup heartache.

"There is a lot of disappointment from the Irish Cup, and hopefully this is a good game to bounce back in," he said.

"We need to put things right and hopefully get a performance from our boys."

The NI Football League have announced that Danske Bank are the sponsors of their newly formed Women's Premiership.

The Danske Bank Women's Premiership kicks off on Wednesday, April 20 with last season's top two meeting in Matchday 1 as Champions Newry City Ladies host Linfield Ladies.

Solitude is the venue for Cliftonville Ladies who entertain Sion Swifts Ladies, while Crusaders Strikers face Glentoran Belfast United at Seaview.

Mid-Ulster Ladies welcome newly-promoted Derry City Ladies to Cookstown.

Maura Muldoon, chairperson of the Women's Premiership Committee said: "To have Danske Bank as sponsor of the new Women's Premiership League in our inaugural season is truly wonderful.

"Danske Bank are an international brand and this sponsorship deal is evidence of the ambition of the NIFL to build the women's brand of football."

Belfast Telegraph

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