Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine using last year's final heartbreak as a spur: Mullan

 

By Jonathan McNabb

Coleraine defender Adam Mullan insists the Bannsiders are drawing on the hurt from last year's Irish Cup final loss as inspiration this season.

Oran Kearney's side were defeated in the showpiece by an Andy Waterworth-inspired Linfield, but the 22-year-old revealed the squad are taking it one game at a time as they aim to challenge for domestic honours in the second half of the season.

"It was a great day out for the players and fans last year, but a very disappointing result," Mullan acknowledged. "I was gutted and I made myself a promise that I would never experience that feeling again.

"We let ourselves down on the day, so we would like to go one better this year. However, we are just taking one game at a time and we will see where it takes us."

Coleraine - who last won the Irish Cup in 2003 - will face Lisburn Distillery at The Showgrounds today and while being favourites, the Limavady man has called on his team-mates to ensure their name will be in the hat for the next round.

"We are looking forward to the game after the recent postponement against Linfield," Mullan continued. "It was a welcome break after a hectic Christmas. I was struggling with a flu virus, but thankfully that has gone over the last few days.

"Distillery are going well in their league, so we are expecting a tough game. We will treat them the same as every team we play."

The fixture could mark the first appearance for Stephen Dooley after the winger rejoined the North Coast side for a third spell. Mullan believes the capture of the former Cork City man is a major coup.

"Stephen is a terrific signing and has been flying in training," Mullan added. "He has bags of ability. I can't wait to see what he offers us."

Distillery have lost back-to-back games in the Premier Intermediate League, but boss Colin McIlwaine is targeting a resurgent 2018.

"It's important that we recapture our form in the New Year," McIlwaine said. "We are using this weekend's game against Coleraine to get the boys rallied again."

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