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Rainey ready to turn it around for Crusaders

By Stuart McKinley

David Rainey believes that any problems and negative vibes surrounding Glentoran at present won’t filter from the board room to the dressing room.

An unpaid tax bill and other debts are hanging over the Oval, threatening to send the club into administration — something that would cost them nine league points.

And the Crusaders striker is planning to add to the agony in east Belfast by taking the Shore Road men a step closer to successfully defending the County Antrim Shield with a victory over Scott Young’s side in the semi-final at Windsor Park this evening.

“I don’t think the Glentoran players will be affected by what’s going on at the club — it didn’t look like they were when they beat Dungannon on Saturday,” said Rainey, who won the Shield twice as well as a league title and an Irish Cup with the Glens earlier in his career.

“I know it wouldn’t affect me. If there is a chance that wages may be cut or you might be offloaded it goes out of your head once you’re out on the pitch.

“I can’t believe when I hear that Liverpool players, who are full-time professionals and internationals, are having their game affected by the things that have been going on there.

“To me, whatever is going on, be it in your personal life or something else, playing football gives you a release from it for the two hours or so that you’re involved in a match.”

Sometimes, though, football can make life worse, like when the Crues were hammered 8-1 by Linfield last Monday night.

For Rainey there has been little enjoyment over the last couple of months and now he hopes a goal in Saturday’s win against Loughgall can be just the start of things turning around.

“I’ve had a rotten season so far, with suspension, a couple of niggling injuries that were hard to shake off and then Michael Halliday and Jordan Owens were doing well up front and I couldn’t get back in,” said Rainey.

“I’m still not sure I’d have started on Saturday only for Aiden Watson being out injured and Jordan being moved out onto the right wing.

“I went out and gave it my all for 90 minutes and thankfully I got rewarded with a goal.

“That’s hopefully the start of me getting on a run and pushing on towards a good season.

“Getting into a final would play a big part in that. I missed the final last season because I was suspended and although I’ve won the Shield before with the Glens I’d like to get a medal with Crusaders.

“That’s what I play football for.”

Tonight’s game will be played to a finish, with extra-time and penalties if necessary.

Belfast Telegraph


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