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David Jeffrey hoping 'fortune' will favour Ballymena in County Antrim Shield final



Rallying call: David Jeffrey

Rallying call: David Jeffrey

�INPHO/Brian Little

Rallying call: David Jeffrey

It would be fair to say that Ballymena United go into tonight's Co Antrim Shield final against Cliftonville with confidence at a huge low.

After a promising first half of December, the Sky Blues have fallen off the rails, defeated by Glentoran, Coleraine, Larne and Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership.

The only bright spot was a narrow win over Crumlin Star in the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup and they will hope another knockout clash with another team from north Belfast will see them return to winning ways.

United lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2016, and it has always been a particular favourite of David Jeffrey as it was the first of the huge array of silverware he accumulated at Windsor Park.

It is back to his old stomping ground tonight that his side go, with the influential Adam Lecky back from suspension and one of the few guaranteed to be in the starting XI after Saturday's defeat by Glenavon.

"I said to the players afterwards that it will give us an opportunity to get some fresh legs in, and that's the long and short of it," said Jeffrey. "We have people there who are back and training, they haven't played for some time, but Tuesday is a one-off game and it's an opportunity to let people get out and play.

"It's a blank canvas, we haven't even started to think about personnel. It's very simple, you either stop fighting and give up or you keep battling on.

"I just hope we get a wee bit of good fortune along with a performance. Obviously we want to win the trophy but I just hope we get a wee bit of good fortune and by that I mean for decisions to go for us and not against us."

Definitely out is skipper Jim Ervin with a medial knee ligament injury and on-loan Kyle Owens who is cup-tied, so it will be a patched-up defence.

"They are quality and have bought well. When you think they've got Ruaidhri Donnelly, Michael McCrudden, Joe Gormley, the two Curran lads, they are pretty impressive. But we'll give it a crack," added Jeffrey.

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