Dunfermline Athletic

Stephen Kenny ahead of Cup Final

Wednesday, 21st Nov 2007

"Both teams are capable of rising to the occasion on Sunday. For us it would be terrific to bring a trophy back to East End and that is what we m

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Stephen Kenny discussed the Challenge Cup Final meeting with St Johnstone:-

"Dunfermline haven't won a cup since 1968; nearly four decades without winning a cup. It is less than five months since we went to Hampden; we had a real battle to get there with the teams that we knocked out. It was such a narrow defeat in the final but we have left that behind us in a way.

"This cup doesn't have the same build up or same profile but nevertheless it is a national cup competition and one that we must try and win. If you are Walter Smith and you have achieved numerous league titles and cup competitions or if you are Gordon Strachan in the Champions League, the Challenge Cup is not a priority. A lot of clubs that haven't achieved a helluva lot or won a helluva lot either but Dunfermline have been in a few finals.

"You have to earn everything; after having tough games in this competition we are in the final now. St Johnstone will view it similarly because they had a good cup pedigree last season with some good wins in the cup. They have a lot of experienced players so it has the makings of a good game.

"We have had a poor season and we would prefer not to be in the position that we are in and higher up the table. St Johnstone are six points ahead of us - they were fancied to win the league also. We were maybe slightly more fancied than them but there wasn't much in it.

"Both teams are capable of rising to the occasion on Sunday. For us it would be terrific to bring a trophy back to East End and that is what we must strive to do.

"You have to respond to difficult periods and to win a trophy would be great for the fans and the club to revitalise the club itself."

Stephen Kenny has won three cup finals in his homeland, lost two and lost one in Scotland. A win on Sunday would put his record positive again:-

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"I am only here less than a year and this is our second national final here in Scotland, my seventh national final in the last few years. I would like to win a trophy with Dunfermline.

"Regardless of that it is not about me, it is about our players here - they have done well to get to the final and gone through a tough period as everyone has. The players deserve a bit of respite . We have a lot of good professionals at the club that mustn't be forgotten. Everyone has taken a lot of criticism but that is part of the business we are in and these professionals will enjoy a victory on Sunday if it comes our way.

"Even though we have a lot of experienced players - Stevie Crawford won the CIS Cup with Raith Rovers and I think for the squad going into the cup final that is the only winners medal we have. We have some who have been involved in squads. Some players achieve a lot in their careers but they want to get some more silverware and that's an opportunity."

With Dundee hosting Hamilton on the Dens Park surface the previous day the SFL Division One campaign will not be far from the Manager's mind:-

"We have eight games in the league between December the first and January the fifth and we want to win the trophy and try and kick start our season. I know we have given ourselves more than a mountain to climb at this stage. But we want to get wins under our belt, try and get a cup win which in itself is a great thing.

"People can go through their career without being to a final so you have to grasp the opportunity."

CHALLENGE-CUP-FINAL

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