IRISH CUP: Fans can give us that extra yard says Town boss

Chris McGrath on the ball for Town. INBL1601-209PB
Chris McGrath on the ball for Town. INBL1601-209PB

Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson reckons the fans can play a big role in this weekend’s Irish Cup match.

They host Premiership side Carrick Rangers at Crystal Park (kick-off 1.30pm), and Watson is hoping Crystal Park will be rocking on such a big day for the club.

James Wilson in action for Town. INBL1601-212PB

James Wilson in action for Town. INBL1601-212PB

“It’s going to be a difficult game and we’re going in as underdogs but hopefully getting a good crowd in can inspire us and give us that extra yard,” he said.

Town are as many as 24 league positions below their opponents but Watson is far from ruling out a Cup upset.

“We want to do ourselves justice and if they have an off day, who knows what can happen,” he said.

“It would be nice to get last week’s defeat out of the system and why not do it on Saturday in the Irish Cup?

“It’s going to be a massively tough game for us though. We’ve seen them playing and they’re strong and physical. They’ve had a few postponements so we don’t know what their fitness will be like over the holiday period.”

Carrick haven’t played since Boxing Day due to difficulties with their pitch.

Nonetheless, with the likes of top scorer Miguel Chines, ex-Cliftonville midfielder Barry Johnston and lively attacker Ben Roy to contend with, Watson knows Town have their work cut out.

“We need to defend a lot better than we did last Saturday and hang in the game then it’s vital we take our chances when they come along,” he said.

“They’re a Premiership outfit. They’re two leagues above us and they’re going to be that bit quicker and sharper because they’re playing at that level.”

Town do have injury concerns ahead of the game with Ryan Gourley, Chris Kingsberry and Stuart Thompson all doubtful.

“The pitch is heavy and taking it’s toll,” said Watson. “Hopefully it can recover and we can play our style of football.”