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League Cup Final Countdown
Daz, thank you for speaking to us and congratulations on bringing the Whitworth Cup back to Aldborough Road, I bet everyone’s really happy.
Well I think so, on the night it was a fantastic night, not just for the players but for the Club, all the spectators, the supporters and just everyone in the town, its given a real good buzz, it’s brilliant.

You put out quite an attacking formation, what was your thinking behind that?
Attack. Attack, attack, attack, attack. I told the paper last week that we were going to attack, we were not going to sit back. If we were going to win it we were going to win it in style. It was just one of those nights where everything came together and that’s exactly how we won it, by attacking football.

What did you say to the lads at half time?
Just more of the same, really. Just keep going, you know, we were one nil up with an absolutely terrific goal and just keep going, keep the same, don’t sit back. Attack them, keep going and get another goal, and we got the second goal, but unfortunately we let them back in, but in the last five minutes: job done.

What was going through your head when Town scored so soon after Ben Jones’ goal?
Well, disappointment really because at two nil, I thought that didn’t flatter us, but we were steady at two nil, I did ask Hutch and Ben to sit and unfortunately we lost our shape, so I was more concerned with that than the goal because when we played our shape we were in control but when we lost our shape we weren’t, but it made for a few interesting minutes. Fortunately Fraz got straight into it, three one and we were sorted.

I think it’s fair to say that your last substitution had quite an impact, can you tell us about that switch?
Well, to be fair, Ben Jones had done a hell of a shift, he’d run himself into the ground and we kept him on as long as we though he could contribute, and at that stage he was done so we put Fraz on and, just like for like, get up there and try your hand, but nobody could imagine he’d score two goals like that, nobody, but yeah, I’ll take all the credit! [Laughs]

You must be pleased for him, breaking his first team scoring duck, especially against his old club.
Yeah, and for both of them, well, all three of them, people forget about Baranovsky, but Fraz in particular. I think that it is a great, great achievement for him, because we could have lost Fraz mid-season, but scoring two goals is brilliant. Chris, with his goal, it was a goal to win any cup, and Baranovsky got the Man of Match award, and he’s an ex-Knaresborough player who got a lot of stick on the night, so I’m chuffed for all three of them, but yeah, Fraz has done great there.

It was a great team performance, did anybody stand out for you?
All of them. I said this, many man of matches for me, and Cup Finals, on nights like that; I’ve played in many of them and I’ve managed in many of them, the whole team were fantastic, everyone deserved a pat on the back, everyone got a score of nine or ten, and it’s one in, all in so everybody won the Man of Match for me.

I’d just like to quickly talk about the League Cup Final if I may, has winning the first final taken some of the pressure off for the second?
No. No it hasn’t. In fact it’s increased the pressure because now, people think that we can win both of them, that’s not a bad thing, but it does increase the pressure. If you lose one, the pressure’s on to win the next one don’t get me wrong but I think winning it, and them [Otley] losing the County Cup last night, it puts the pressure on us, everyone’s expecting us to win now, we’re going in as favourites and I didn’t want that, I wanted us to be like Thursday night, underdogs. So, no, the pressure’s on us to win it, so we’ve got to make sure we turn up.

We’ve Otley Town in the Final, another tough team?
They’re a very good side, but we beat them three one down here earlier in the season. Tony went to watch them last night and they had nine players who played last night who played against us, so they’re a similar side. So we’re going to have our chances, but don’t get me wrong, they’ve come on leaps and bounds: County Cup Finalists, League Cup Finalists, they’re going to finish third or fourth in the league; that’s a good season.

Finally, what would it mean to you, and the Club as a whole, to win both the Whitworth and League Cups in the same season?
Well, to be honest, John Horner hit it on the head, at Christmas we were in turmoil. We lost Dan Clayton, we lost Andy Layton, Chris Hastings left us and we wondered whether we were going to achieve anything. To win the Whitworth Cup against Knaresborough Town was one of the best nights as a manager I’ve had, and I’ve won County Cups. To win this League Cup would be fantastic, we’ve never been anywhere near it, it’s a massive cup, it’s a beautiful trophy, and to win that I think would be the icing on, not just this season, but for me, 20 years next year, it would be great. For the players, the Club, everyone, it would be a massive buzz.

Thanks a lot Daz, and thanks for a great night on Thursday and for bringing the Whitworth Cup back to Aldborough Road.
Thanks, it’s a start! [Laughs]
 
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