Lichties desperate for cup final

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EVEN though Arbroath manager Paul Sheerin believes it is a massive achievement for his side to have reached the Challenge Cup semis he is desperate to see his them make the final.

On Sunday, the Lichties make the long journey to Palmerston Park to face Division Two leaders Queen of the South to battle it out for a place in the competition’s showpiece.

And with the painful memory of a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Queens just last month still fresh in the mind, the boss is hoping his players use this to their advantage.

He told HeraldSport: “It is definitely an achievement getting to this stage but we are desperate to get to the cup final.

“But nobody ever remembers cup semi-finalists and now we have an opportunity over 90 minutes to go one stage further.

“Ever since the draw was made everybody keeps harking back to the 6-0 defeat but from our point of view we will be desperate to right the wrongs.

“There is no reason why we can’t go there and get in the final.

“As a manager I have definitely learned from that defeat and I think the players took something from it too.

“We will prepare properly and I don’t think they will need much motivation.”

The tie will be the first semi-final of a national competition for the Gayfield men in over 50 years.

And if they come away from Palmerston on Sunday with a victory, it will be the first national cup final the Lichties have ever made it to.

And Mr Sheerin stressed that he knows how much it would mean to the club and the fans if they were to progress.

He explained: “To be in a final would be massive for us.

“A lot of people talk this cup down but when you get to this stage it is such a good opportunity.

“I have played in this cup final a few times and they are always a great day and a great occasion for teams.

“And if we could get there it would make it all the more special as I believe it is the first final of a major competition they would ever get to.

“So both from the club and management’s point of view it would be huge.”

The boss predicts he will have a full squad of players to choose from with an extra training session taking place tonight (Friday) as the tie is played on Sunday.

Monday also saw several fringe players get game time under their belts when the Lichties beat junior side Carnoustie Panmure at Gayfield.

A win in the Angus derby against Brechin on Saturday has also stood the Maroons in good stead for Sunday’s semi.

And the manager was pleased with their latest league performance.

He said: “It was pleasing to pick up maximum points as I thought we played more like ourselves on Saturday.

“It was as good as it has been and we created some great chances.

“We have been grinding out results lately and we have only lost two games, and then they were to full-time clubs Inverness Caledonia Thistle and Queen of the South. “