Ferguson relishes Blues cup test

Tennents Irish Cup.

Tennents Irish Cup.

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Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson is relishing his side’s Tennents Irish Cup clash with Linfield.

The teams were paired together in this mornings draw, with United travelling to the National Stadium for the fifth round clash on January 9.

“It could have been a kinder draw but, by the same token, it could have been worse as well,” Ferguson told Times Sport.

“We will certainly know what to expect - there’s not the surprise element that might have been the case if we had been drawn against a Junior team.”

United famously won 2-1 at Windsor Park in the sixth round, en route to reaching the final in 2014 and Ferguson says: “We have shown before that we’re capable of going there and getting a result.

“Linfield are the calibre of side you’re going to have beat somewhere along the way if you want to win the cup, although we would have preferred if it was further into the competition.

“But it’s cup football and it’s all about what happens on the day - the one thing we do know is that we cannot be off our game, even slightly, on that day.

“We’re going to be seeing a lot of Linfield in the coming weeks - we play them at home in the league on December 19, then this Irish Cup tie on January 9 and then, potentially, the final of the County Antrim Shield three days later if Linfield win their semi-final so both teams will certainly know plenty about each other.

“But we have to put the Irish Cup to the back of our minds now and focus on important games coming up, starting with Warrenpoint on Saturday,” added Ferguson.