Get ready to rock
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
DOWN manager James McCartan insists that Pairc Esler will be rocking on Saturday (May 24) at 6.30pm when his side face Tyrone in the Ulster Championship replay.
Saturday's encounter is expected to be a full house and evoke memories of 2008 when the Mourne men defeated the Red Hands.
Benny Coulter, who was inspirational in Down's marvellous second half comeback in Healy Park on Sunday, has called on Down fans to come out in force and make it a night to remember.
"We will be trying to feed off the energy we got from the second half performance," said McCartan.
“We are at home in Newry and it hasn't happened very often and we have proved very hard to beat there in the League over the last four or five years and hopefully that will continue on Saturday night.
“We are delighted to get a draw, it could have been a win and it is game on Saturday night."
And the Down boss refutes the suggestions that his side missed the boat and believes that the ball is firmly in his court.
“At half time we would have taken a draw all day long," he said.
“Our boys will not need any motivation for next Saturday night, whether it proves to be enough to be the winning of the game remains to be seen.
“But there will be no problem getting boys motivated for the Saturday night. The Ulster Championship, 18,000 to 20,000 people in Newry?
“Newry is going to be rocking and we haven't seen that too often - bring it on."
McCartan's half-time substitutions changed the dynamic of the game, including Coulter's introduction to midfield. And while the modest Coulter in his Newry Democrat column says he simply steadied the ship, he was outstanding, showing great leadership, driving his team forward and winning the ugly ball when required.
And his manager McCartan couldn't praise Coulter enough.
“Benny knows that we are not going to use him for 70 minutes of the game, he knows that if Down win a championship match that it is not going to be his name in lights anymore because time has moved on," he said.
“But I think any man that is prepared to put his shoulder to the wheel and even be prepared to be the workhouse instead of the match winner, those who know that they are not what they were and to give everything for the cause, has to be given credit."
The replay is likely to be all-ticket and a game not to be missed.
As McCartan said it's game on!
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