Armagh City boss Marty Rice hopes romance of the cup is alive and kicking

Armagh City forced Glentoran into a replay in last season's Irish Cup
Armagh City forced Glentoran into a replay in last season's Irish Cup

Armagh City boss Marty Rice hopes the romance of the Irish Cup descends on The Oval on Saturday.

The Eagles travel to East Belfast to renew rivalries with Glentoran in the blue riband competition.

Armagh took the Glens to a replay last season, with a 1-1 draw at Holm Park being followed by a narrow 2-1 defeat at the Oval.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s return to Mersey Street, Rice has urged his players to seize the moment.

“All the pressure will be on Glentoran. If they beat us then it shouldn’t create too many headlines.

“But if they lose then it will be a massive shock,” Rice said.

“We have to try and plant that little seed of doubt in their mind and see if we can unsettle them.

“You only have to look at the FA Cup in England to see that the romance of the cup is still alive.

“Manchester City and Chelsea were both beaten by lower ranked teams – so it does happen.

“We are hoping we can create a little stir on Saturday. It will take a massive effort from my players, but we are looking forward to it.”

Rice believes there are some comparisons between Saturday’s cup rivals, with both the Glens and Armagh have invested in youth as they look to the future.

“I think we are similar in our approach,” Rice added.

“Glentoran haven’t really added to their squad since last season, but I think they are a better side.

“Their youngsters have been given their chance, and they are maturing.

“We are similar. We have brought a lot of young players into the squad, and there are not too many new faces in the team.

“You have to give players a chance, and they will learn.”

Rice insists Armagh will hold no fear going to the Oval.

“It is an Irish Cup match, a massive fixture that we are going to enjoy,” he added.

“Hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves and try and cause a surprise.”