Ballymena United ace James Knowles up for Windsor Park battle

Ballymena's James Knowles
Ballymena's James Knowles

Ballymena United midfielder James Knowles knows the Sky Blues will be severely tested by Linfield in the BetMcLean League Cup Final on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues lead the Danske Bank Premiership by six points from second placed United as they go head to head at the National Stadium.

Linfield go into the game as favourites but Knowles is up for the challenge.

“I am excited and I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “We know we are coming up against tough opposition in Linfield and we will go into the game as underdogs but on our day we can put up a fight against any team in the league and we have proved that this season.

“So we are excited but I hope on the day we knuckle down and get a result.”

And Knowles believes that after their three meetings this season it should be a close League Cup final.

“We have played Linfield a few times this year and they have always been very tight, which might give you a gauge of how the game will turn out.

“It is going to be very tough but we will be confident.

“Our confidence in the squad is high because we have been playing well recently and hopefully we can take that into the final,” said midfielder Knowles.

And skipper Jim Ervin believes United have come on in the last few months under manager David Jeffrey.

“He has brought in a few new players and they have bought into the philosophy of what we are trying to achieve and everybody is pullimng their weight.

“We have a big squad and you know that if you don’t perform you are going to be out of the side.

“And as good as our season has been to date we have not achieved anything.

“It has been a good season to date but unless we achieve something the season will not have been worthwhile.”

And Ervin thinks United strikers Adam Lecky and Cathair Friel could be the difference at Windsor.

“They have struck up a great partnership and when you look at the relationship Friel and Johnny McMurray had you would have thought Adam would find it hard but they are scoring goals.”