Glentoran manager Mick McDermott admitted he had to get out the map when his team were drawn against Dergview in the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup.
The Premiership boys tomorrow face the long trek to Castlederg for what could be labelled as a banana skin first round meeting with Tommy Canning’s Championship side.
Having enjoyed an unbeaten 14 match run, which spanned back to September, the Glens came unstuck last Saturday when they lost a thrilling contest at home to Larne.
Although disappointed, McDermott insisted he wasn’t reaching for the panic button after that defeat. Instead, he wants his team to respond in the proper manner against Dergview.
“I’ve never been there . . . I don’t even know where it is,” he confessed. “But I’m sure Dergview will put up a hell of a fight.
“We had them watched at Dundela last weekend. It will be a hard game and we are under no illusions. We got it tight a couple of years ago at Queen’s University . . . we won 3-2 and it was tight right to the end.
“Robbie (McDaid) got the winner near the end, so we know anything can happen in a cup tie.”
McDermott has already been busy in the January transfer window, bringing in Michael O’Connor, Sean Murray and Darren Cole.
He added: “Michael and Sean will be available for the Cup tie. Darren just arrived with the group last Monday, so it will take him a couple of weeks to get up to speed in terms of training.
“Robbie McDaid, Joe Crowe and Ben Cushnie will also be back, but we’ll access Bigi (Gael Bigirimana). He pulled up in the warm-up last week . . . he felt a tightness in his calf.”
McDermott insisted it was important his lads don’t dwell on last week’s disappointment.
“It was one defeat, three points dropped, but there is no panic on our part,” he added. “It also brought to an end a good run of form, so it’s a matter of dusting ourselves down and going again.
“It could have gone either way, but it was Larne’s day. We will not over-think the result too much because of the extent of the players we had missing – and the extend of the players we have coming in.
“But with the new boys now available, we are looking forward to the second half of the season.
“Larne are now back on track in terms of a title challenge. Within a week in this League, you can be at the top or you could be fourth.
“Apart from the three goals, I didn’t remember them (Larne) having a shot on target. Yes, they had periods of possession, but we were comfortable.
“I didn’t mind when they had the ball because they were not getting through us. It was two good teams going toe-to-toe.
“We were heavily depleted due to suspensions, injury and Covid last week, but I’m not using that as an excuse to hide behind. I have to the say, the three goals we conceded were most disappointing . . . Larne didn’t have to work for them.
“It was our first defeat since September. We were disappointed, the players were disappointed, but we now need to turn that disappointment into hunger ahead of the Dergview game.
“We then have the Sky television game at Cliftonville the following Monday, so there are big games up ahead.”
Meanwhile, the east Belfast side has confirmed that Glentoran Women’s double clean sweep winning captain Jessica Foy has made history by signing the first professional contract for a female footballer with a club in Northern Ireland.