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Warrenpoint inspired by late late show, says Gray

Barry Gray will use last week's dramatic league victory at Carrick Rangers to inspire his Warrenpoint players to repeat the heroics and reach the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup for the second successive season.

The win, thanks to two goals in the last two minutes of stoppage time, not only lifted Warrenpoint off the bottom of the table but, in Gray's words, gives his players a "bounce" for today's visit of Ballymena United.

But just as importantly, according to the Point boss, it allows the players to forget about the season-long struggle against relegation from the Premiership.

"It's a great break from the league for us because it has been intense," said Gray. "We get to stay off the bottom of the table for two weeks by default, and that is a big mental push for us.

"We always look forward to the Irish Cup, and after last week's win it sends us into the match with a good bounce, and we know we can give it our all on the day and know whatever way it goes, you can leave it behind you at five o'clock and it won't affect our league position. So that's a positive for us."

Warrenpoint also have the encouragement of a 2-1 victory over today's opponents in the sides' last meeting at the end of November.

"Ballymena at the minute, you don't know what side you are going to get, a bit like us," added Gray.

"The pressure will be on both sides, a bit more on Ballymena than us because we will certainly be underdogs, but that suits us.

"We have beaten them at home this season, not that that counts for anything, but off the back of the Carrick result the players will be in as good a position as they can be.

"But it's still about going into the game with our feet firmly planted, and if we are to collect a win we know we will have to be at our very best."

• Derry City have signed Ivory Coast-born midfielder Moussa Bakayoko and Belgian centre-back Danny Lupano.

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