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.
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