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'We can't fail in third final'


Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

DROGHEDA United have promised to do all they can to avoid a hat-trick of Cup Final defeats in the same season.

Mick Cooke's side have emerged as the real cup specialists this season, as their appearance in the FAI Ford Cup final against Sligo Rovers on November 3 will be their 19th cup tie of the campaign.

So far they have reached the final of the Setanta Cup and EA Sports Cup but lost both to Shamrock Rovers, and long-serving Drogheda defender Alan McNally says that the United side will not go down in history as having played three and lost three in major finals.


"We'll be sitting down in the dressing room in the next few weeks and saying 'we've lost two finals this year so it's about time we won the big one'," says McNally.

"We'll focus our minds and get training properly and hopefully emerge as the winning team.

"I'm just delighted to get to the FAI Cup final, my first FAI Cup final.

"It's the third final of the season so it's a great achievement. It's a pity that we could not have done better in the league but you would take three cup finals in the one season. There's no qualms about that.

"We want it to be a winning one as well. We are really looking forward to it and we will get down to training and preparing for it in the next few weeks.

"Our minds will be on November 3 and we are really looking forward to it," added the defender, who hopes to go one better than his older brother, Paul, who was a beaten finalist in the Cup with Bohemians in 2001.

Yet McNally admits that the manner in which his side won a place in the final, beating Dundalk 1-0 with a contentious penalty in a controversial game, could be hard to take if viewed from the position of the losing side.

"It was a strange game but when you come out winning it does not really matter how the game panned out. If those decisions went against us then we would be extremely unhappy," McNally said of referee Anthony Buttimer's decision to send off two Dundalk players and award a penalty early in the first half. "It was a strange game after that as they had eight, nine men behind the ball. It was tough to break down but if we had kept possession better then we could have seen the game out better.

"They had a bit of a go at the end so all credit to them. We are just delighted to get into the final."