Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville can make more history and seal high five: Lyttle

By Graham Luney

Cliftonville's mission to win a fifth consecutive League Cup begins tonight when Lisburn Distillery are the visitors to Solitude and boss Gerard Lyttle says his boys are determined to keep the prize at Solitude.

It's a trophy which has given the Red Army many golden moments in recent times and Lyttle will always cherish last season's final victory over Ards - his first trophy as a manager.

"Yes, it's a competition which has been very kind to us," said Lyttle. "The four consecutive wins is an unbelievable achievement. No other club has managed to do that but now we have made history, let's keep making more.

"Last season's victory was my standout memory as it was my first trophy as a manager. To get that first piece of silverware as a manager was special."

Teenager Aaron Donnelly could be handed his debut while Gary Donnelly will also be included as Lyttle shuffles his pack.

"It's important we have a look at a few of the young lads," he added.

Meanwhile, Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter has admitted it's highly unlikely that any Irish League side could claim the domestic slam by winning the League Cup, County Antrim Shield, Irish Cup and Danske Bank Premiership title.

The famous Linfield side of the early 1960s coasted to seven trophy victories in one season and the Blues also did the slam in 2006 but the domestic landscape has changed dramatically.

"In the last six years Cliftonville came close to winning the double when they got to an Irish Cup final (losing to Glentoran in 2013) so it is incredibly hard to maintain those levels of intensity for all competitions," said Baxter, whose side host Loughgall.

"You are seeing clubs in England make wholesale changes. It's difficult to imagine a team winning the lot, particularly when the competition in our league is so intense."

Belfast Telegraph


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