IRISH CUP: Holders Glenavon motivated for Armagh test by pain of past exits

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton.
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Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton is backing his players to draw from past pain as protection against an Irish Cup upset at Armagh City.

The Lurgan Blues hit the road to Holm Park as current holders of the domestic game’s premier knockout prize and with senior status as an obvious advantage.

Hamilton can call on a squad of players with experience of the highs and lows presented by cup football and is confident in the levels of attitude and application.

“We have players with plenty of experience of what cup football is all about and that means the good points of wins and even lifting the trophy but also the disappointments that can happen,” said Hamilton. “We have experienced setbacks against teams across past cup ties, even against teams from outside the top flight, so go into Saturday aware of what is needed to progress.

“Those cup exits hurt so you want to avoid any repeat.

“You always back the ability of the players but the important aspect in any of these games is the attitude we adopt on the day.”

Armagh City manager Marty Rice is hoping for an upturn in knockout fortunes as Saturday marks the club’s first competitive fixture since the Mid-Ulster Cup final defeat.

“In a situation like this you are always hoping for that slice of luck on the day,” he said. “We do not feel we got it in the final so face Glenavon aiming for that to change.”