Tennent’s Irish Cup: Crusaders v Glentoran

Gary Smyth (centre) has taken charge of Glentoran following Ronnie McFall's (right) resignation
Gary Smyth (centre) has taken charge of Glentoran following Ronnie McFall's (right) resignation

Former Glentoran player, Gary Smyth, has been handed a daunting task as the new caretaker manager at the East Belfast Club.

Following the worst Irish League run ever of 10 straight games without a win after the New Year’s Day 4-2 loss to Dungannon Swifts at The Oval, manager Ronnie McFall resigned yesterday.

Smyth has been put in charge, assisted by former club captain, Paul Leeman - both were assistants to McFall.

And their first assignment is to face defending Danske Bank Champions in the fifth round of the Tennents Irish Cup tomorrow.

Following the loss to Swifts, McFall had said: ““We must pick ourselves up for the Irish Cup tie. It’s probably the most difficult possible draw for us.

“It’s typical of our luck. When you are struggling, everything goes against you. It was the draw we didn’t want.

“Crusaders at a top side . . . they had a super win again on Tuesday. It’s going to be a massive test for us.”

The Crues come into the game on a high after ending Ballymena’s 19-match unbeaten run on New Year’s Day.

Player Declan Caddell said: “The Irish Cup is always a big thing. It is always one we look forward to and it has been about 10 years since the last time we won it.

“The Glens are going through a tough patch at the minute but they are a hard team to play against and it will be a tough encounter.”

“We have been getting our form back over the last four to five weeks and we thought we were capable of getting the three points against Ballymena.

“We have got to keep pushing and playing well and we will look to continue our run of good form against Glentoran in the Irish Cup.”