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We must be red hot to triumph says Ards boss Currie

By Keith Bailie

Ards manager Niall Currie knows his team must find their best form if they are to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup for a second time in three seasons.

In 2013, Currie's Ards reached the last four of the tournament by beating Gary Hamilton's Glenavon in a penalty shoot-out following a thrilling 3-3 draw.

They will need to produce a similar performance if they are to record another quarter-final victory, when they do battle with Premiership side Ballinamallard United at Clandeboye Park tonight (7.45pm).

Although Ards are second in Championship One, they have been inconsistent in recent weeks. They have lost three of their last four games, losing 2-0 to relegation-threatened Institute on Saturday.

"We've fond memories of reaching the semi-finals two years ago before losing to Cliftonville," said Currie.

"We've reached a senior semi-final in each of the last two seasons, so it would be nice to make it three in a row, but Ballinamallard are an excellent side."

Following Saturday's shock 2-0 defeat to Institute, Currie kept his players in the dressing room for over half an hour after the game.

He insists that his players must find consistency if they are to maintain hopes of emulating Portadown's achievements after they won the League Cup as a Championship team in 2009.

He said: "We had a long talk after which I left them in there and said, 'have a chat among yourselves. Be honest with each other.'

"On our day we've shown we're a match for anybody in our division, but we're not getting that on a regular basis.

"I take my share of the responsibility, but the players have to take their share too.

"It's hard for any manager to explain how you can beat Larne 6-1 one week, and lose at home the next."

Institute will hope that there will be at least one Championship team in the semi-final draw, no matter what Ards do.

Their match with Warrenpoint Town will be subject to a lunchtime pitch inspection at the Riverside Stadium.

Belfast Telegraph


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