Result all that matters in cup tie - Ferguson

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson believes his team will face a tough test in their Irish Cup quarter-final at Harland & Wolff Welders. Picture: Pacemaker Press.
Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson believes his team will face a tough test in their Irish Cup quarter-final at Harland & Wolff Welders. Picture: Pacemaker Press.

Glenn Ferguson says that the result is the only thing that matters in Saturday’s Irish Cup quarter-final with Harland & Wolff Welders.

The Sky Blues will be favourites to reach the semi-finals when they travel to the Championship One side (1.30pm).

Ferguson insists that the experience of last year’s trip to Tillysburn Park should be of benefit to his side.

“Going there last year is probably a blessing because a lot of our players have played there before,” said Ferguson.

“It’s a tight ground, it’s not conducive to playing really good football because of the ups and downs of the pitch.

“We know the tight pitch, the tight surroundings and what to expect and the players know how hard they;re going to have to work.

“If we win 1-0 I’ll be happy because we’ll be in the hat but I don’t want to be chasing to get something in the last minute like last year.

“Glenavon found out in the last round, to their cost, that it wasn’t easy and we have to prepare really, really well,” added Ferguson, who is content that the tie will be settled on the day.

When United last visited Tillysburn Park in the same competition last season, a 2-2 draw resulted in a replay which United won 1-0 en route to reaching the final.

But after a rule change this year, Irish Cup matches are decided on the day of the game, with extra-time and penalties if necessary.

“I’m all for it. I think cup games should be finished on the day,” said Ferguson.

“You hear of so-called lesser clubs getting home draws and then having to go away to their opponents and nine times out of 10 the underdogs get beaten.

“Now it’s finished on the day and everybody will know the outcome - there will be no ‘so and so or so and so’ will play ‘such and such or such and such’.

“By teatime on Saturday everybody will know who’s in the hat and that’s the way I think cup football should be.”

Ferguson has also warned his players against complacency against a Welders side stripped of three key players through suspension.

“David Rainey and Philip Simpson were already out but Dan McMurray was sent off at the weekend who’s an important player for them and that will obviously have an impact on their team selection.

“I’ve stressed about complacency. The Welders have three key players out but the players who come in will be wanting to stake a claim and they will be giving it everything they have to show their manager they’re as good as what is missing.

“We won’t be complacent in any way and I will make sure our players’ frame of mind is totally right.

“You can usually tell after 15 minutes if someone is not on their game and I’ve said before if I need to take somebody off after 20 minutes, it will be done, as I have done in the past.

“They will be under no illusions of what will be expected of them - whether they carry it out or not is another thing,” added Ferguson.

* Seven Towers Supporters’ Club transport to Saturday’s game leaves Henry Street car park at 12.15pm.

* Paramount SC holds its monthly table quiz in the Bowling Club this Friday night, February 27 (8.30pm).