IRISH CUP: Armagh City boss Marty Rice relishing cup acid test against Linfield

Armagh City manager Marty Rice
Armagh City manager Marty Rice

Marty Rice can appreciate the size of the challenge facing Armagh City on Saturday – but he has urged his players to seize the moment.

The Eagles have been handed a trip to Premiership giants Linfield in the sixth round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup.

Rice’s men have been installed as 12/1 outsiders to claim a shock victory at the national stadium.

It is a colossal test facing the Championship 1 underdogs, but their manager is relishing the occasion.

“We know this is a massive challenge for us – one of the biggest in the Irish Cup. But hopefully it inspires the players,” Rice said.

“We have nothing to lose, and all the pressure is really on Linfield. They will be expected to win at a canter, but if we can quieten them down for a period of the game then the pressure might increase on their shoulders.

“We just have to keep it tight for as long as possible, but we won’t be going to Windsor to park the bus. We will try and express ourselves and hopefully deliver a good performance.”

Linfield hammered six unanswered goals past Dungannon Swifts in midweek, and afterwards manager David Healy called on his players to be as ruthless against Armagh in Saturday’s Irish Cup tie.

“Hopefully they used up their goals on Tuesday night,” Rice joked.

“David (Healy) has done well since coming in. His players are playing some champagne football at the minute, and playing with a smile on their faces.

“The league is out of their hands, so I would imagine the Irish Cup will be a big target for them this season.

“They will look at this as being a big chance to reach the quarter-finals, but hopefully we can maybe put a spanner in the works and cause a major upset.”

There are eight ties in the sixth round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup.

Holders Glentoran entertain Glenavon at The Oval in one of three all-Premiership clashes.

League champions Crusaders travel to Stangmore Park to face Dungannon Swifts, while Portadown host Coleraine.

Cliftonville entertain Sport and Leisure Swifts at Solitude, while Carrick Rangers meet Crumlin Star at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena, and Lurgan Celtic face Knockbreda and the PSNI travel to Loughgall.

Tennent’s Irish Cup Sixth Round (kick-off 3pm unless stated): Carrick Rangers v. Crumlin Star; Cliftonville v Sport & Leisure Swifts; Dungannon Swifts v Crusaders; Glentoran v Glenavon; Linfield v Armagh City; Loughgall v PSNI (1:30pm); Lurgan Celtic v Knockbreda (1:30pm); Portadown v Coleraine.