IRISH CUP: Determined Ronnie McFall targeting glory with Portadown

Ports boss Ronnie McFall
Ports boss Ronnie McFall

Ronnie McFall is under no illusions as he prepares for Saturday’s massive Irish Cup showdown with Coleraine.

With Portadown labouring in eighth spot in the Danske Bank Premiership, the cup remains their last genuine shot at silverware this season.

The stakes are high as both the Ports and Coleraine go gunning for glory.

McFall – who is expected to step down from the Shamrock Park hot-seat at the end of the season – believes his players will need little motivation going into the clash.

“It is a massive game for both clubs, so there won’t be any need for extra motivation,” McFall said.

“We all know the importance of winning and progressing to the quarter-finals.

“It offers the last chance for a trophy for both clubs.

“We have home advantage which is something you always want in a cup tie, and I am confident my experienced players can step up to the plate once again. Experience is crucial in games like these, so hopefully we can make that count.”

McFall will be hoping the Irish Cup proves a welcome distraction from their league campaign.

The Ports have lost their last six Premiership fixtures, failing to score in their last three.

“We haven’t been getting the results, but we can take confidence from the way we played in the last two games,” McFall said.

“There are positives to be taken from those games, so that’s what we will do going into this cup fixture.”

Tim Mouncey will miss tomorrow’s tie due to suspension, while defender Garry Breen is a doubt with a thigh injury and Jake Richardson still out.

Meanwhile, Coleraine manager Oran Kearney has described Saturday’s clash with Portadown as a “monster tie”.

The Bannsiders also endured a tricky month of January, losing their last three Premiership fixtures.

“It’s a monster tie, especially as it’s away from home as it makes it even tougher, but we’ll be ready for it,” Kearney said.

“We’ll get a good week’s preparation, clear the heads and go again.

“I’m expecting a very tough game against Portadown.

“We have had a very good record against Ballinamallard this season and they came here in the fifth round and it turned out to be a real ding dong of a match.

“We have had two good results against Portadown this season, but I don’t expect this Saturday to be anything like those games.

“There’s an awful lot to play for both teams, it makes for a really big tie.

“We had a real sickener earlier this season in the League Cup and there’s a real focus to put that right.”