CLIFTONVILLE manager Jim Magilton is pleased that his side will have the opportunity to put the disappointment of defeat to Larne behind them when they return to Cup action this evening.
The Reds make the trip to Stangmore Park to take on Dungannon Swifts (7.45pm kick-off), hoping to progress to the last eight in the Bet McLean Cup.
Magilton believes that Rodney McAree’s side will present problems, though insists they are looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“It’s a massive game for us, we have to bounce back quickly,” Magilton insisted.
“We don’t have time to ponder too much about Friday night. We know that Dungannon are going to present problems for us, and we have to be ready for that. We’ll look forward to it too.”
Having exited the County Antrim Shield with a defeat to Carrick Rangers in September, Magilton believes it is an opportunity to write a wrong from that setback and is delighted with the timing of the fixture off the back of defeat to Larne on Friday evening.
“It’s a game and we want to win every game that we play in,” stressed Magilton.
“I thought we were disappointed against Carrick and we’ve an opportunity to right that wrong if you like. We’ll be going strong and looking to win the game and we know that Dungannon will represent a huge challenge to us. I think it is a really good thing after Friday that we have a game so quickly.”
Magilton rued the luck that evaded his men at Inver Park on Friday evening but took the positive of Ronan Hale netting his first goal since his return from injury.
“You always think that it might not be your night when the ball is whizzed across the six-yard box. It hits Levi [Ives], the bar and you’re thinking – well maybe this is just not our night” he reflected.
“We kept going right until the end. I’m delighted for Ronan [Hale] coming on the pitch and scoring a goal, that will help his confidence no end. That’s the positive for us from a very disappointing night for us.”
Ryan Curran recently travelled to England for an operation on a long-term groin injury that has restricted the striker’s playing time for the best part of 12 months.
However, Kris Lowe will face another few weeks on the sideline after Magilton revealed that he suffered a calf injury at the weekend.
“I’m more pleased that we’ve identified the problem with Ryan Curran,” Magilton admits.
“Hopefully that will address it and we want to get him back playing for Cliftonville as soon as possible.
“Kris Lowe looks as though he has pulled his calf and he is going to struggle now for the next few weeks. It is unfortunate for him because he came back, and I thought he was very good against Larne on Friday evening. He is certainly and a person and a player that we miss.”