Glenn Ferguson hopes that his Ballymena United side’s cup exploits can spark their ailing hopes of a top six league finish.
The Sky Blues kept their campaign alive on Saturday by winning at Cliftonville to set up an Irish Cup quarter-final at Harland & Wolff Welders later this month.
Now Ferguson is hoping that the battle for places for the cup game can have a knock-on effect on United’s performances in the Danske Bank Premiership, where they have won just three of their last 18 fixtures.
The Sky Blues are 12 points adrift of sixth spot at present with just six games left before the ‘split’ - the first of them at home to Glentoran tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm).
“The cup win kept our season alive for the next few weeks but we have important league games and we need to pick up points because teams below us like Dungannon and Ballinamallard have been picking up points,” said Ferguson.
“We have three or four league games before the cup quarter-final and that is our focus now.
“Mathematically it’s not impossible to reach the top six but it’s going to be very, very difficult.
“It’s about trying to get wins on the board and building momentum which we can then take into the cup game.
“We had to leave four or five players out of the squad on Saturday, which was great.
“Stuart Addis, Mark Surgenor, Davy Munster, Michael Ruddy and Matthew Shevlin didn’t even make the bench whereas earlier in the season, those five would probably have been starting.
“It’s great that we have competition for places with the new signings and everybody knows they have to be playing well to stay in the team,” added Ferguson.
United are also at home again on Saturday, when Institute are the visitors (3pm).