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Full Time

Ballymena United can react to cup heartache with big result at Crusaders: Kane

By Alex Mills

Ballymena United's Tony Kane believes there will be no League Cup hangover when his team return to Belfast for a showdown with Danske Bank Premiership table-toppers Crusaders at Seaview today.

The Sky Blues may still be smarting from their defeat by Dungannon Swifts in the showcase final last weekend, but Kane reckons they have an ideal opportunity of getting it well and truly out of their system against the league's in-form team.

"We'll be going to Seaview for all three points, make no mistake about that," said midfielder Kane. "It's the start of a big week for us as we face Ards on Tuesday and then Larne in the Irish Cup next week.

"Our aim is to cement a place in the top six in the league table. Even though we are two points behind Glentoran, we have three games in hand, so we must make those count.

"We still have a lot to play for and an ordinary season can turn into a very good one judged by our results over the next seven or eight weeks. On our day, we are as good as any team in the league."

Kane admits last week's cup final defeat was hard to stomach, especially after losing in the Shield decider to Crusaders a few weeks earlier, but insists the players are now even more determined to up the ante, both in the league and the Irish Cup.

"We have now lost in two finals in quick succession, but there is no point brooding over it," he adds. "To be honest, Dungannon were the better team on the night last week and they deserved to win.

"Yes, we had chances. Stuartie Addis pulled out two brilliant saves to deny Conor McCloskey and we can reflect on having key players missing, but we didn't enough over all to win it. We also conceded sloppy goals, which didn't help.

"It's gone - we now move on and there is no bigger game than against the champions-elect on their own ground."

Belfast Telegraph

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