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Robbie McDaid wants Glentoran to make the most of having a squad that can compete on all fronts

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Robbie McDaid with Peter Campbell. Credit: Alan Weir

Robbie McDaid with Peter Campbell. Credit: Alan Weir

Aaron McCarey. Credit: Alan Weir

Aaron McCarey. Credit: Alan Weir

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Robbie McDaid with Peter Campbell. Credit: Alan Weir

Glentoran’s 2020 Irish Cup winning hero Robbie McDaid sees knockout success as a crucial building block on the way to the ultimate prize of league title glory.

The striker, whose extra-time finish gave the Glens victory over Ballymena United in the pandemic-delayed decider last year, scored a stunning bullet header which broke the deadlock in their BetMcLean League Cup last 16 tie against Glenavon on Wednesday night.

That goal, after 99 minutes of play, sparked late drama, with the game ending 2-2 after extra-time before the Glens progressed 5-4 on sudden-death penalties.

Since the Gibson Cup last rested in east Belfast, Glens fans have witnessed Crusaders enjoy cup wins before claiming three league victories in four seasons, while Cliftonville wove four successive League Cup triumphs through their back-to-back title successes in 2013 and 2014.

And they are the examples McDaid wants to follow, with Ali Pour wanting to see a return on his investment at the Glens by banking Champions League cash.

“At Glentoran you are judged on your trophy haul at the end of every season,” said McDaid.

“The last number of years, with all the well documented problems, it has probably been a bit different but, from our perspective as players, you want to win and you want to compete in every competition you can and we have a squad of players now that is capable of competing on every front.

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“Every little helps and every trophy counts and it takes something to win any competition.

“There is obviously a lot of talk about the league, but a League Cup or an Irish Cup — while not as important as the league — for fans it gives them that final to look forward to and we want to be competing on all fronts.”

Although the Glens led twice at Mourneview Park on Wednesday, they were under pressure for large parts of the second-half as goalkeeper Aaron McCarey played a crucial role in keeping the scoreline blank and they were inches away from going behind when Matthew Fitzpatrick hit the post early in extra-time.

It was far from a vintage performance from Mick McDermott’s men, but winning when not at their best is a good sign according to McDaid, with a huge Danske Bank Premiership clash against Coleraine coming this weekend.

“We’re in the hat for the next round, we’re delighted to get through and that’s the main thing,” he said.

“Really it’s like that in any game, it’s just about winning. Winning breads momentum and if you are winning games, whether it be stylishly or not the nicest way of doing things, three points is three points and it doesn’t matter how you get them.

“If you’re picking up wins in cup competitions, progressing into the next round then you want to take that into your league programme and build momentum.”


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