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Linfield out to Spike Derry City

By Chris Holt

Linfield striker Glenn Ferguson is out to carry on inflicting pain on Derry City at the Brandywell tonight and keep up the Blues’ impressive record over the Candystripes.

David Jeffrey’s side travel to the north west tonight (8.05pm) for a crucial Setanta Sports Cup encounter, needing to win to make sure of a passage into the semi-finals of the competition for the fourth year in succession.

Anything less will mean they have to wait on the result in the other Group 2 game at the Oval with both Glentoran and St Pat’s still in with a hunt of qualifying themselves.

Derry - who haven’t beaten the Blues in this competition - have already booked their place in the knock-out stages but any suggestion that they will take this latest clash lightly has been quickly shot down by Ferguson who believes Stephen Kenny’s men are ‘hurting’ over their blue hoodoo.

“I am led to believe that they rested eight players for their league match against Sligo Rovers on Friday night so that shows exactly how seriously they are taking this game, “said Ferguson. “There is no way that they are going to go into the match thinking that they are already through and the game doesn’t matter.

“They are a proud club and they will want to beat us no matter what, especially seeing as we are unbeaten against them.

“I think they are hurting over that.

“Obviously everyone thinks that the eircom League is better than ours and it hurts them that they haven’t beaten us.

“We have put in come brilliant performances against them and we are going to have to do the same against tonight. They will be fired up, Stephen Kenny will have them up for it and it’s a huge, huge game for both teams.”

Linfield’s team has changed somewhat since the two sides met in March, when the Blues registered an emphatic 3-1 win over City.

Players have come and gone, however Ferguson, who scored the third goal that night from the spot, insists the one that have been brought in know what is expected of them.

“It’s turned into a bit of a grudge match but the new boys will have been told what to expect and when they come here they are told what is expected of them,” added ‘Spike’. “I know they will have no problem coming in and keeping up the high standards that have been set.”

At the Oval, nothing less than a victory will be enough for Glentoran to make it through to the semi-finals for the first time – and even then it may not be enough. They are banking on Derry doing them a favour by either beating or drawing with Linfield.

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