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Ryan Catney is sure Donnelly can deliver goods for Cliftonville at Windsor Park

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Confident: Ryan Catney backs Jay Donnelly to step up to the plate

Confident: Ryan Catney backs Jay Donnelly to step up to the plate

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Confident: Ryan Catney backs Jay Donnelly to step up to the plate

Ryan Catney has identified Jay Donnelly as the boy who can become a man on the big stage tomorrow night.

Striker David McDaid is due a six-match suspension after being found guilty of head-butting an opponent during the 6-0 win over Ards Rangers, however, the former Coleraine hotshot is available for selection as Cliftonville go for League Cup glory against Ballymena United at Windsor Park tomorrow night (5.30pm).

McDaid and Joe Gormley will be asked to unlock the United defence which conceded five goals against Portadown last weekend, but Catney believes Donnelly can hit the headlines.

"We will miss David McDaid when he is suspended but young Jay Donnelly has come in and been superb," said Catney.

"He's a class act like his brother, in fact, I think he is going to be even better.

"You do need to have strength in depth and Jay is the perfect man to score goals and cause defences problems."

The Reds have just captured the County Antrim Shield, but their title defence has faded recently and only one win in seven league outings is not championship winning form.

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Ballymena United sense they are taking on a wounded animal, but Tommy Breslin's side can never be underestimated.

"We are frustrated as any one else and it seems to be the case that mistakes are being punished with goals but we must stick together and fight back, we are too good a squad not to come back," added Catney.

"We like the underdog tags, we aren't supposed to win Irish League titles or cups.

"We will go down with a fight and the best team come May will win the league.

"It is strange when 80% of the trophies are sitting at Solitude.

"It's hard to put your finger on what is wrong, but in previous seasons this trophy has been the catalyst to greater things and hopefully that will happen again this season."


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