AUCHINLECK TALBOT boss Tommy Sloan insists he isn’t out to avenge last season’s Junior Cup Final defeat to Glenafton this Sunday, but admits he won’t stop his players using it as extra motivation.

The Bot are set take on Craig McEwan’s double-winning side at Meadow Park in the Ardagh Cup Final just a few months after their heartache at Rugby Park.

Sloan’s men were looking to lift the famous old trophy for a 12th time in June but were undone by a late screamer from Glens star Alan Cairns.

The two West Region sides will renew hostilities this weekend with yet more silverware up for grabs, but the decorated Auchinleck boss maintains that notions of revenge haven’t formed part of his preparation for the showdown.

“We’re desperate to win but it doesn’t make a difference who we’re playing,” Sloan said. “It could be Glenafton or anyone else, I don’t think it makes much difference.

“We should be looking to win every game no matter the opposition. I don’t need any extra incentive but if the players want to use it as motivation then that’s great.

“Hopefully they can use it to get a positive result.”

As beaten finalists in this competition last season and their Glenafton disappointment still fresh in the memory, Sloan’s players have the opportunity to right two wrongs with one fell swoop in Irvine on Sunday.

Eddie McTernan’s second-half strike snatched glory for Kilbirnie Ladeside in 2016 as they withstood heavy Talbot pressure to clinch a famous victory over one of the Junior game’s true giants.

And boss Sloan admits he can’t help but feel that it was one that got away.

He said: “Last year was disappointing, we had most of the play and didn’t quite manage to score.

“We lacked a bit of cutting edge and Kilbirnie scored a good goal and managed to see the game out. But that happens and you’ve got to take it.

“We reached a few more cup finals and went close in the league. We ran Glenafton and the other sides quite close until the last few games.

“It wasn’t a nightmare season by any means, just not quite the same success we’ve had in recent years.”

Whether those two disappointments had any influence on the criticism that has been levelled at Sloan from his own supporters this campaign is anyone’s guess, but such was the club’s displeasure over their legendary boss coming under fire that secretary Henry Dumigan felt compelled to issue an angry rebuke online.

The nine point gap to high-flying Super Premier Division leaders Beith has now been cut to six, and will become shorter still if Talbot win their game in hand.

Sloan maintains that rumblings on internet forums don’t interest him, but did concede that he hopes a win on Sunday will help dissipate the early season tension around Beechwood Park.

“Seemingly there’s been a lot of stuff online and the club felt they had to make a statement,” Sloan said. “I didn’t agree with that but Henry felt he had to do something about it. I’m not really a computers guy so to be honest I’m not really aware of it.

“The only stick I hear is at the game on a Saturday, I’m not going to be going on a computer and looking for more of it. But hopefully that’s all water under the bridge now.

“It’s one of those where you lose a game there’s going to be pressure on you, that’s just the way it is at this club but I’m not sure it’s the same elsewhere.

“Any trophy in the bag would certainly be a boost confidence for the squad but we know we’re up against a really good side and will have to be right at it to get a result.”

Glenafton’s start to the season suggests Sloan isn’t far wrong in his assessment, with a 5-0 aberration against Beith the only blot on their copybook thus far.

Despite his insistence that what happens online, stays online, the Bot gaffer will know that a win on Sunday would go a long way to silencing the rattling keyboards.

And with his illustrious track record, you certainly wouldn’t bet against him.