Belfast Telegraph

We'll plan professionally to beat Larne Tech OB and reach first Irish Cup semi-final, says Warrenpoint boss


Serious business: Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell
Serious business: Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint Town manager Stephen McDonnell has insisted that he will pay total respect to Larne Tech Old Boys in the quarter-finals of the Tennent's Irish Cup next month.

The Milltown men created history on Monday night by defeating Queen's 2-0 to reach the last eight of the competition for the first time and are now heavy favourites to go a stage further in another home tie against the Amateur League opposition.

McDonnell, though, won't be taking anything for granted. He will see to it that his players don't either, even though the cup draw has opened up with Linfield, Glenavon, Cliftonville and Glentoran all out already.

"What was at stake against Queen's was massive," said McDonnell.

"It was an opportunity to earn home advantage in a cup quarter-final against an Amateur League side in Larne Tech.

"For that game we need to plan professionally like we did for Queen's and make sure the attitude is right. We will pay Larne Tech total respect and have them watched before the cup game.

"They have done extremely well to reach the quarter-finals and we'll expect a tough match.

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"I do understand we will have the favourites tag and we also have to be prepared for that. A semi-final would be played at a neutral venue and that would be like a cup final for us in itself but we have to take care of the next opposition in the competition before thinking about that."

Town, who have a Mid-Ulster final against Glenavon on the horizon, were tested by Queen's who should have gone ahead before Philip Donnelly's well taken opener. The impressive Eamon Scannell's free-kick was deflected into the net by Matthew Torrans to seal the deal for McDonnell's men, who a couple of days before had been hammered 5-0 by Glentoran in the league.

"We were pleased to get back to winning ways with a clean sheet. Queen's came, sat back and paid us respect and made it difficult for us. That's the first time we have come up against an opposition who have done that.

"It was interesting to see how our lads adapted and in fairness they overcame it," said McDonnell, whose side travel to Dungannon in the league on Friday.

"We have a young squad and are still developing and what was pleasing was we didn't panic. The boys recovered from Saturday and showed character to win."

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