Belfast Telegraph

Pressure off but Glentoran eager to stay on winning trail, says Kane

Glentoran skipper Marcus Kane
Glentoran skipper Marcus Kane

By Alex Mills

Glentoran skipper Marcus Kane believes the shackles will be off in tonight's Toals County Antrim Shield quarter-final clash with Larne at The Oval.

The 28-year-old feels his team will not only relish the opportunity of reaching the last-four but also the chance of playing without the pressure of picking up crucial league points.

After three successive defeats, Mick McDermott's boys hit the winning trail again at the weekend with an impressive victory against Carrick Rangers.

Kane insists it is vital to maintain the momentum against a Larne side still smarting from Ryan Curran's last-gasp winner that nicked Cliftonville three points on Saturday.

"The Shield gives us the chance to play without the pressure of picking up points," said Kane. "I would say there will be a few changes to the team. The boss is not afraid to rotate the squad, which says a lot about the strength we have in depth.

"Regardless of what team goes on the pitch, the quality is there.

"We beat them at The Oval a few weeks back, so I'm sure they'll be coming looking for a bit of revenge. But we'll do what we need to do to make sure it's our name in the semi-final draw."

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Kane admits it was important for his team to end that losing streak at the weekend.

"It can be argued that some of the defeats were perhaps unjust, especially the games against Cliftonville and Coleraine when we lost by the odd goal," he added.

"They were tight games and narrow defeats, but they were defeats. They go down on paper as games we have lost.

"In saying that, there were a lot of positives to take even in defeat. We played for 70 minutes with 10 men against Coleraine, but we were still the stronger team at the finish. We had the ball in the net twice, but both goals were ruled out for offside.

"Over the opening phase of the season, we've really only had two poor performances - we were not good in parts against Dungannon Swifts and Crusaders.

"After the opening series of games we are in fifth place, but we want to improve on that. We know we need to start clocking up the points to keep up in the top half of the league."

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