ORAN Kearney will instruct his boys to ‘enjoy the occasion’ when they face Shamrock Rovers tonight in the Setanta Sports Cup.
The Bannsiders go into the second leg tie with a one goal advantage, established in Dublin last week. David Scullion grabbed the winner against all the odds.
But those odds will again be stacked against the Irish League side, as Rovers come looking for revenge.
“We fought so hard to get into the Setanta Cup that the last thing we would ever look at it as was a chore,” said Kearney. “It was a great experience for the lads to go to a new stadium last week and then we have Shamrock Rovers coming up to play us under lights, so hopefully it can be a memorable occasion.
“Shamrock Rovers have serious, serious quality in their ranks..
“We created probably the most clear-cut chances in the first game, but the possession stats would probably scare me – it was probably 75 per cent to 25 per cent.
“We’re not going into Monday night rubbing our hands and thinking this is just a matter of seeing it out and going into the next round.”
Kearney stresses his team have prepared ‘the best they can’ as the tie comes only 48 hours after their derby win over Ballymena at the weekend.
“We had a natural lift when we played Shamrock Rovers last Monday and I would hope for the same again,” he added. “We’ve been through a huge volume of games in the past couple of weeks. We had our ice baths on Friday, we had a pile of pizzas delivered after the game, we’ve been drinking Lucozade and we did a cool down which we never do so with a 48-hour turnaround, we’ve tried to tick every box in relation to leaving the players as fresh as possible.
“The players had done their side of the bargain by getting a result at Ballymena and we’ve done our side by trying to make sure they’re ready for Monday night, so only time will tell.”