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We’ve Dun our homework: Paddy

Paddy McLaughlin says Dundela’s exploits against Danske Bank Premiership opposition this season commands respect – and has warned against any underestimation of the Lough 41 Championship side.

Ahead of this evening’s Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup fifth round tie at Wilgar Park, McLaughlin believes the Duns dumping Crusaders out of the BetMcLean Cup before seeing off Carrick Rangers in the County Antrim Shield are all the warnings Cliftonville need about the challenge that awaits.

“We’re going into the game fully focused on trying to get through to the next round, which would have been the case no matter who we’re playing,” he explains.

“We never look at any match as being much harder or easier than the previous game, so Dundela will be treated exactly the same as any other opponent.

“They’ve been flying high at the top end of the Championship. I’ve managed in that division myself so I know how difficult it is. To be up at the top end of it, you need to be doing something really well.”

Though the Duns have seen a host of star names snapped up by Premiership Clubs since the opening of the Transfer Window, boss Paul Harbinson has moved to strengthen his options by adding experienced talent – including ex-Glenavon winger Andy Hall as well as goalkeeper Sam Johnston, who was part of the Harland & Welders side the Reds overcame on BetMcLean Cup duty earlier this season – to a squad containing former Cliftonville duo Tony Kane and double title-winning defender Jaimie McGovern.

“They’re very strong at home,” adds McLaughlin.

“I know they’ve lost a few players and they’ll be disappointed with that but they’ve got a squad there that’s more than capable of getting promoted this year, so we’ll treat them with the utmost respect.

“They’ve already proved this year alone that anybody who disrespects or underestimates them in any way at all is setting themselves up for a bad downfall.”

Supporters information
This is an all-ticket fixture for Cliftonville fans, who will be accommodated in the Mervyn Bell and Sir Billy Hastings Stands. Dundela FC have advised that once these areas are full, stewards will manage crowds regarding terracing space.

Tickets for the game will be available to buy the Social Club at Solitude from 3pm onwards.

Due to the anticipated attendance and volume of traffic, all supporters are encouraged to be inside the ground for 7.30pm.