Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine must improve or face Dergview disappointment, says Bradley

 

Retaining focus: Eoin Bradley is keeping his feet on ground
Retaining focus: Eoin Bradley is keeping his feet on ground

By Alex Mills

Striker Eoin Bradley insists complacency will not be an issue when holders Coleraine entertain Dergview in the sixth round of the Tennent's Irish Cup at the Showgrounds tomorrow.

The Bannsiders, who defeated Cliftonville in the showcase decider last May, will be favourites to punch their ticket to the last eight, but Bradley is having none of it.

In fact, he warned that if they produce the type of performance displayed against Dungannon Swifts last weekend, they could end up with egg all over their faces.

Although Rodney McAree's boys are well out of the Premiership title race, they have hopes of a possible third-place finish which would guarantee them automatic entry to Europe.

In contrast, Dergview are haunted by the threat of relegation as they are only two points above Championship basement side Limavady United.

"We played Dergview at the start of the season, we beat them in a pre-season friendly, but we'll not judge them on that. It doesn't count for much," insisted Bradley.

"Rodney (McAree) will have done his homework. Young Mattie Kirk, who was with us at one time, plays for them. They've Ivan Sproule and a big lad I played Gaelic with, Emmett McGuckin.

"They are decent enough - they'll be underdogs and will want to keep things tight and try to hit us on the counter-attack."

But Bradley insists his boys will need to up the ante following last weekend's 2-1 defeat by Dungannon.

"If we perform the way we did last Saturday, we'll be in trouble," he said. "We'll need a big improvement.

"We didn't start off well and conceded a poor goal, but we managed to level and should probably have been two or three up by the interval.

"In the second half, Dungannon were the better team. We looked nervous and shaky in defence, were overpowered in midfield and never looked like breaking them down up top.

"The only good thing is that the next game comes around quickly and it will give us the chance to rectify the situation.

"Our aim will be to get into the last eight - we are the holders and want to be back in the final again in May which probably puts a little bit of extra pressure on us.

"If we prepare properly, we should be okay. We can't afford to go out against Dergview with our minds on the next round. We have to treat it right. The Cup could be a passport to Europe for us."

With the inclusion of new signing Dean Shiels, Bradley reckons there will be a real battle for places.

He added: "Dean is a good player, he'll be a good signing. There is a lot of competition for places now and he'll help beef up the squad. He's come in at a good time."

The Bannsiders last night signed Dylan King from Glenavon for an undisclosed fee.

Coleraine vs Dergview

Tennent's Irish Cup Sixth Round

Coleraine Showgrounds, Tomorrow 3.00pm

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