Stephen McDonnell 'will field the best team that can win the game' for Glenavon cup clash against Dergview

Stephen McDonnell, after waiting almost four years for a return to Irish League management, will step into the Glenavon dug-out tonight for a second fixture inside four days.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

McDonnell and Warrenpoint Town parted ways in 2019 but the 31-year-old was appointed Glenavon manager last week – kicking off life in Lurgan on Saturday evening with a league clash against Larne.

Glenavon lost Robert Garrett to a red card and finished down by 4-0 to the defending Premiership champions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now McDonnell will turn his focus to another home game as Championship-based Dergview visit Mourneview Park for a knockout clash in the BetMcLean Cup.

Stephen McDonnell (left) made his first appearance as Glenavon manager on Saturday at Mourneview Park. (Photo by Alan Weir/AWDPhotos)Stephen McDonnell (left) made his first appearance as Glenavon manager on Saturday at Mourneview Park. (Photo by Alan Weir/AWDPhotos)
Stephen McDonnell (left) made his first appearance as Glenavon manager on Saturday at Mourneview Park. (Photo by Alan Weir/AWDPhotos)

"We will field the best team that can win the game,” said McDonnell. "It's not football for all so we have to go with what we think is our strongest team.

"That's the mentality we've got to go into games with and try and get the players prepared to win games of football."

On his return to the Irish League, McDonnell said on Saturday: "I've always been watching and I've always come up to watch regardless if I've been involved or not.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It was just to keep tabs so you know if there is an opportunity to get back in, you know where you're at.

"The league has evolved, there's no question about it.

"It's good to get a gauge there and I was happy with it for the 11 vs 11 period, so it's definitely got a lot better."

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter is relishing tonight’s BetMcLean Cup trip to take on Warrenpoint Town in the BetMcLean Cup.

“We will look forward to the game, I always enjoy going down to Warrenpoint and we take it as it comes,” said Baxter following Saturday’s Premiership win over Coleraine by 4-0. “It’s a great competition, it’s a big final nowadays and Coleraine have been ever-present in that final in recent years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It’s a good day out and we’ve always enjoyed the League Cup and we look forward to that challenge.

“We will get ice packs on players’ ankles and knees...we will look who is fit and available.

“Our performance was good and coming away from home against a very good Coleraine team who I thought were magnificent against Glentoran recently.

“We knew they passed the ball well and get into good areas on the football pitch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When you’re up against an Oran Kearney team who moves the ball quickly, you have to be on your toes at all times as it’s a tough place to come.

“Coming here over the years and getting out with a result is always good...but the manner of our performance has been good.”

Ties as follows:

BETMcLEAN CUP: Annagh United v Portstewart, Ballinamallard United v Ards, Ballymena United v Lisburn Distillery, Coleraine v Bangor, Dungannon Swifts v Newington, Glenavon v Dergview, Glentoran v Dollingstown, H&W Welders v Newry City, Larne v Knockbreda, Limavady United v Dundela, Linfield v Queen's University, Loughgall v Ballyclare Comrades, Portadown v Coagh United, Warrenpoint Town v Crusaders, Carrick Rangers v Moyola Park, Cliftonville v Institute.​​​​​​