Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin is hoping to reach this weekend's Irish Cup final.
Paddy McLaughlin does not want to talk about history or a cup win, not with a semi-final still to play against Glentoran tonight. (8pm, Windsor Park).
Cliftonville have not won the Irish Cup since 1979, but McLaughlin, in his first season in charge, is now just two games away from ending a 41-year wait. Both Irish Cuip semi-finals – Coleraine vs. Ballymena and Cliftonville vs. Glentoran - will be played today at Windsor Park, with the final to be played this Friday.
But all such talk of red ribbons on the cup is premature for McLaughlin, who is refusing to look beyond the challenge posed by Mick McDermott's Glens today.
“We haven't really spoken at all about the final,” McLaughlin stated.
“I do know how long it's been since the club has won the cup and it's crazy to think it's been that long because we have had so many great sides down the years. We haven't even had that conversation with the players because the sole focus is on Monday.
“It will be a really tough game against a good side in Glentoran. Mick McDermott has done a really great job with them and he has them playing well, so it sets it up for a good game, an exciting game. It's a game that we feel we can win, but I'm sure Glentoran will be saying the same.”
There is a real Derry interest in the last four of the competition this year. With Conor McDermott and Michael McCrudden hoping to help McLaughlin to the trophy this weekend, Glentoran's Patrick McClean will have other ideas. For Coleraine, Ben Doherty will be hoping to play a part in a cup final, whilst Joe McCready will be cheering on his team Ballymena from the sidelines as he is cup-tied.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at any time.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from Derrynow.com
Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.