Belfast Telegraph

Linfield star Gault up for more Setanta success

By Graham Luney

Not everyone associated with Linfield Football Club is still in love with the Setanta Sports Cup but the players approach every tournament with a single minded determination to succeed.

And at Linfield, widely regarded as the biggest club in Ireland, the idea of entering a competition with no desire to win it is unthinkable.

Michael Gault was part of the 2005 side that stunned Irish football by lifting the inaugural Setanta Cup when Shelbourne were beaten 2-0 at Tolka Park and he played in the 1-1 draw with St Pat’s at Richmond Park last month.

Players on this part of the island have always relished testing themselves against southern stars and the midfielder still has an appetite for that cross-border battle.

The Blues will again lock horns with St Pat’s at Windsor Park tomorrow (5.15) with both sides tied on five points in Group Three.

Qualification is within their grasp and Gault has every chance of featuring in the battle if manager David Jeffrey sticks to his policy of freshening up the squad for the Setanta Cup.

“St Pat’s are a very good side, one of the best teams in Ireland, but we played well against them and could have won the game down there,” said the Northern Ireland international who was suspended for the league clash with Dungannon Swifts on Tuesday.

“A lot of questions have been asked about the Setanta Cup and perhaps the format has to be looked at but as a player you always want to win things and pick up medals.

“Every time we run out in the Setanta Cup you want to win and the bottom line is you want to win the trophy, otherwise there is no point in competing in it.

“Linfield were the inaugural winners and that was a special achievement which won’t be forgotten. It is a great experience for the players and you always relish

testing yourself against other players who have been part of a full-time set-up in a strong league.

“The Gibson Cup and Irish Cup are two trophies that are top of Linfield’s hit-list but the goal has to be always to win everything.”

Peter Thompson is likely to feature for the Blues as he is suspended from Monday while injury victims Jamie Mulgrew, Curtis Allen and Billy Joe Burns may not be risked ahead of a big league clash with Cliftonville at Solitude on Tuesday night.

Gault added that he was saddened to learn of Alan McDonald’s exit from Glentoran.

“I worked with Alan in the Under-21 set-up and he is a very nice man and talented coach,” said Gault. “It’s always sad when someone leaves their job. There is always a lot of pressure in football management.”

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