Belfast Telegraph

JBE League Cup Final Ards v Cliftonville: Four-in-a-row dream must not distract us, warns McGovern

By Graham Luney

Jaimie McGovern believes potential history making exploits from his Cliftonville side this weekend should be forgotten about... until the mission is accomplished.

The Reds have a golden opportunity to become the first club to win the League Cup for the fourth year running but Ards will be out to ruin the script at Solitude tomorrow.

Former Glentoran ace McGovern has been part of every glorious League Cup adventure up to now but he knows Ards will be highly motivated to spring a major surprise.

"I wasn't aware about the possibility of making history until a fan mentioned it to me on Saturday but it's not something we should be thinking about," said the centre-back.

"If it happens then it's something to be proud of but the important thing for me is winning the match and lifting the trophy. The records will then be determined but you never want to get ahead of yourself. Saturday night is about us turning up and performing, if we fail to do that there will be nothing to celebrate.

"I've been blessed to be involved in the three League Cup victories to date and every season it's our goal to be challenging for these prizes. You look forward to these big games, it's a privilege to be involved in them."

McGovern admitted his side have a 'slight advantage' with the contest being played out at Solitude but complacency will never creep into their preparations.

He added: "We've had a similar experience, playing in the final against Crusaders, but it suits both parties in the sense that Ards are also used to playing on an artificial surface.

"We've got to accept though that we are playing at home and so have a slight advantage. We are in our comfort zone. Going to Windsor may have suited us better but we can perform well on our own pitch.

"It's a one off game and we will never underestimate the opposition. That's the mental challenge for us. Everyone will be expecting us to roll Ards over while they will have a nothing to lose approach. That's something we will have to deal with and manage properly.

"The Ards squad is packed with experienced players and our matches against them in the past have been hard fought.

"The big thing for us is that we have to look after our own house and be focused on what we need to do."

Reds midfielder Ryan Catney said: "This trophy means a lot to us and winning it has given us so much confidence and belief.

"A lot of our great times began when we beat Crusaders 4-0 in the 2013 final. You get used to the trophy being here and it's a good habit to have. Long may it continue."

Belfast Telegraph


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