There is no secret surrounding the idea that Dungannon Swifts head coach Darren Murphy is peddling to his Stangmore Park players.
Murphy has put wheels in motion to execute his Plan A, which involves sending Donegal Celtic spinning out of the Irish Cup this afternoon.
And if a quarter-final triumph can be completed the former Linfield and Glenavon midfielder will then look to complete the journey to Windsor Park for the final.
It is five years since the Swifts lost to Linfield on the one and only occasion they reached an Irish Cup decider, but with JP Gallagher back at the club, Johnny Montgomery still a mainstay in the defence and Terry Fitzpatrick also remaining from 2007, there is plenty of experience in the squad — and that’s before taking into account the four finals that Murphy, who is combining management with playing, in four Irish Cup finals, played in earlier in his career.
Add to that Rodney McAree, who scored in the final against the Blues, who is Murphy’s trusted aide on the Stangmore Park management team.
“When you get to the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup you should get excited — if you’re not you’re in football for the wrong reasons,” said Murphy.
“Dungannon Swifts have only ever been to one semi-final before — which they won on penalties before losing to Linfield in the final, also on penalties.
“At this stage you’re two matches away from a final at Windsor Park and even at 37-year-old and having played in four finals myself, I’m excited about the opportunity that’s in front of us to play in another semi-final — especially at this stage of my career.
“My last final was 10 years ago and my desire to get to another one is as strong as it was when I started playing.”
The camaraderie between Murphy and McAree goes far beyond the football pitch.
Last year the pair started a business together, running Studio Cycle, a fitness and spinning studio, which is located within the grounds of Stangmore Park.
And that relationship away from the pressures of managing the team, is helping the pair when it comes to being in charge of the Swifts.
“When you run a business with someone you need to have trust in them and it’s the same when you work together in football,” said Murphy.
“Rodney and I have full trust in each other, we help each other, try to cover each other’s weaknesses and when I’m on the pitch I can concentrate on playing because I know that I’ve got someone in the dugout who will make the right decisions.
“We see the game in a similar way to each other and most of the time we would make the same decision — although I’m not sure that goes as far as substituting me.”
Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Coleraine was the first that the Swifts have suffered since Murphy was installed as head coach — with domestic licence criteria dictating that McAree couldn’t continue in the role with an up-to-date Uefa A Licence coaching qualification.
They might be one of the form teams in the Carling Premiership, but Murphy is expecting DC to display the same amount of hunger with an Irish Cup semi-final place at stake.
“Suffolk Road is one of the toughest places to go. They fight for every ball and we have to match their determination before we earn the right to play,” said Murphy.”