Belfast Telegraph

Garth Scates: Bangor need more than great confidence to gain promotion

By Stuart McKinley

Garth Scates has warned his Bangor players that the confidence gained from already beating Premiership opposition this season will only get them so far in the promotion/relegation play-off battle with Warrenpoint Town.

Although they have already taken the scalps of Glentoran and Crusaders in the County Antrim Shield - before losing the final to Cliftonville - and beat the Crues again in the League Cup quarter-finals, this week is the biggest of the season for the Seasiders as they aim to return to the top flight after a six-year absence.

They face Point at Clandeboye Park tonight (7.45pm) before the return clash at Milltown on Friday evening and Scates, who is now officially the club's first-team coach after licensing issues meant him handing the managerial reigns to Geoff Montgomery, knows that it's what they do over 180 minutes against Warrenpoint that matters.

"So much of our season has been about the cup runs and they were great for the club," said Scates.

"Having beaten Premiership teams already this season there is a strong belief that we can go and do it again, but now we have to go and do it again.

"There is no point in talking about the belief and confidence, we have to go and do it on the pitch over two games and there is a big incentive for us with Premiership football up for grabs."

With each club's short-term future being determined by the outcome of the two-legged battle, it would be no surprise if a couple of cagey affairs ensue, but Scates is anticipating the opposite scenario to prevail.

"Warrenpoint will be well organised; they have played two seasons of Premiership football for a reason," said Scates.

"For that reason we have to respect them, but we can't be in awe of them at the same time.

"They will be determined to keep their Premiership status and we will be determined to take it off them, which should make for two very interesting games."

Lurgan Celtic, who have already achieved promotion, will clinch the Belfast Telegraph Championship 2 title with victory at home to Sport & Leisure Swifts tonight (7pm).

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