Glenavon midfielder Ciaran Martyn insists complacency will not be an issue in tomorrow’s Tennent’s Irish Cup quarter final tie against Loughgall at Mourenview Park.
The big 35 year old, who was a member of Gary Hamilton’s team that lifted the coveted trophy two years ago, still has horrible memories of his worst ever moment in the competition.
He was in the Glentoran team that were dumped out of the tournament by Amateur League side Newington YC back in 2012.
Martyn, who was also an FAI Cup winner in his Derry City days, is determined to avoid a similar result when Stephen Upritchard brings his Championship One side the short distance up the motorway.
“There are no easy games in the cup,” he said.
“In any a knockout competition, any team is capable of winning and progressing.
“I’ve experienced it when I was at Glentoran. We lost to Newington – and it was such a disappointment.
“If you don’t turn up you can get turned over. We have to ensure we avoid that. We’ll be well prepared and fully focused because it’s a big opportunity for us to reach the semis.
“I imagine we’ll be big favourites with the bookies. We’re at home playing a Championship club, so we’ll be expected to win. But you can’t afford to take anything for granted. We know they’ll come to Mourneview and give it everything they have, so we have to be on our guard.”
Martyn insists the Irish Cup final is the biggest day of the domestic season, and he would relish another gala day out.
He adds: “It’s an unbelievable occasion and it meant a lot to the club two years back. It’s the best day out in the football calendar and it was a great feeling winning it with Glenavon. The incentive is there now to try and do it again. We’ll certainly give it a go.
“There are a lot of top teams left in the cup. Cliftonville and Linfield is a big game at Solitude and you also have the likes of Portadown and Crusaders still in there.
“Potentially, you could have Crusaders, Portadown and either Cliftonville or Linfield in the semis, but you can never look too far ahead in the cup.
“Our focus is on Loughgall and ensuring we get ourselves into the draw for the last four. It goes without saying, it would be an unbelievable achievement for us to win it twice in three years, but we’re not really looking beyond this weekend. We can’t afford to take our eye off this tie.”
Martyn believes Gary Hamilton has one of the best squads in the league, one that has the potential to finishing the season on a high.
“Yes, we have a great group,” he added.
“We’re missing Eoin Bradley due to suspension and he has been on fire for us this season. He’s been scoring goals on a regular basis.
“We’ll be without Eoin for the next number of weeks, but we have to adapt. We definitely have quality in the team and players who can step up to the plate. We were missing Daniel Kearns at Linfield and he’s a very, very good player, so hopefully he is back this weekend.
“We finished third in the league last season. It was our highest finish for a long time. We’ve made very steady progress under Gary and hopefully we can do the same again or better this season.”