Our futures are on the line, says Glentoran's David Scullion
David Scullion has admitted that he and his Glentoran team-mates are playing for their futures in tonight's Tennents Irish Cup showdown against Ards.
The rearranged fifth round tussle at The Oval is of huge significance to the hosts as the Glens are fighting to secure a top-six place ahead of the league split in March.
This is the club's final shot at silverware in a season which has seen Alan Kernaghan replace Eddie Patterson in the hotseat.
"Our league position (sixth) is not good enough for a Glentoran team," said Scullion, who scored the winner in last season's final against Portadown.
"A lot of players are playing for their futures now that Alan (Kernaghan) has come in and is looking to rebuild. Losing is not an option - we can't even contemplate the consequences of that. It's a massive game and this club needs to keep challenging for trophies.
"At least we have the confidence of knowing we have been a strong cup side for a few seasons. It's down to the players to show they have the quality to play for Glentoran and we are certainly in the mood to hit back after losing three consecutive league games. This is now our biggest game of the season."
Scullion believes a lack of concentration and consistency has hurt the east-Belfast side this season.
"We saw it again against Crusaders when we were brilliant for the first-half then allowed them back into it with the two quick goals," he added.
"We need to keep our concentration levels high for the entire game and then we might be more consistent. Ards will not be underestimated as they are flying in the Championship."
Chris Morrow could make his debut for the Glens but Marcus Kane is a fitness concern through illness. The north Down men go into the clash boosted by the signings of Gary Browne, Carl McComb and Jack Uprichard. Former Linfield, Glentoran and Coleraine striker Browne, who makes the switch from Carrick Rangers, is the brother of Ards midfielder Ben.
Tonight's showdown at The Oval (7.45pm) was scheduled to kick off on Saturday, January 9 but had to be put back because of a waterlogged pitch.
Glens fans and officials worked tirelessly on the pitch but were beaten by the heavy rain. A small army of volunteers have stuck to the task over the last 10 days to ensure it is business as usual tonight. In this evening's other rearranged Irish Cup fifth round battle, Annagh United take on Knockbreda.
Glentoran's hopes of welcoming back Jordan Stewart in a loan deal from Swindon Town appear to have been dashed.
The League One club are allowing Stewart to leave in a loan deal to gain first team experience but it's likely that another English club will be his destination.
A few cross-channel clubs have expressed an interest in Stewart, who has been battling homesickness problems since he joined Swindon in a two-year deal from the Glens in August.
The 20-year-old winger, however, is now feeling more comfortable in England where he is living with Gareth Barry's cousin Bradley and another young player.