Belfast Telegraph

We're up for the cup, rival managers in rallying calls

 

By Graham Luney

Rival managers David Healy and Oran Kearney will issue their final rallying calls to Linfield and Coleraine this afternoon with only one side destined to add their name to the Tennent's Irish Cup.

Healy's Linfield have already won the County Antrim Shield and Premiership title this season while Kearney's Bannsiders secured an impressive third-place finish and Europa League qualifying place.

Coleraine are now hoping to lift the top knockout prize in Irish League football for the first time since 2003 while Linfield haven't celebrated a league and Cup double since 2012.

Healy has urged his players to use the league title as a springboard to a period of dominance, earning them a place among Linfield's legendary names of yesteryear.

"People have said the players maybe weren't as good as the Clean Sweep or double-winning teams," said Northern Ireland's record goalscorer. "I think it was Andy (Waterworth) who said that sometimes at this club you live in the shadows of former great teams, players, captains and managers and everything else. Hopefully in two or three years' time, if we are successful, people at Linfield might start talking a wee bit about these players."

Kearney, who played in two Irish Cup finals for Linfield, said: "It's a massive game but we are not defeatist. We've had a lot of patronising comments like 'You've had a great season and it's nice to get to a Cup final and into Europe', but I want to win a game of football on Saturday and win a Cup.

"It's not so much patronising as people thinking you are turning up here to be beaten and watch Linfield lift the trophy.

"That's great because we can use that as motivation."

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