Eric Kinder with reaction to the cup final win
United coach Eric Kinder spoke to us about the Cumberland Cup final victory on Wednesday evening.
“We have to look at it as a competition where we can’t really win, with the situation we have,” he said. “If we beat a team by a big score then people say that’s how it should be, and if we lose we get heavily criticised.
“It’s a competition we have to enter and it’s one we want to win. We’ve managed to do that for the last three seasons and that’s something we’re all really pleased about.”
“We have to give credit to Whitehaven because they’ve played some good football and they’ve come here and had a real go,” he told us. “We were delighted that they got their goal. They contributed to what was a good game to watch.”
“I thought the attitude shown by our young players was excellent,” he added. “You could tell they enjoyed playing with the more senior lads. We had Andy Welsh who always does it right for us and he set a really good example for how things should be done. Peter [Murphy], Mike [Edwards] and Adam [Collin] are complete professionals and we all appreciate how much they talk to and advise the youth team players around them.
“Once we started getting the ball down and passing it there was only ever going to be one result. We opened them up quite a few times and we got our goals, so it was a good performance.”
“Alex [Salmon] really enjoyed himself and that little touch of arrogance came out again,” he said. “The first thing he said to me in the dressing room was that he’d scored two and set-up seven. That’s Alex for you though. We keep saying that if you’re going to be that way then you have to back it up. He keeps backing it up so we’ll keep putting up with it.
“He came to us as a striker but we think we’ve found that he’s so clever with his passing that his best position could be sitting behind the strikers in that hole. He sees things and he can open things up, so it’s an interesting one.”
“Our two full backs are actually two youth team wide players and they slotted into it as if it was their natural position,” he explained. “Their good work was added to with Jack Lynch and Kyle Dempsey getting involved and causing problems so it was a good combination for us.
“Brandon [Gwinnutt] was ill so we had to go with Connor Thomson at right back. It’s a job he’s done before and I think, when he joins us for his two year scholarship next year, that is where we will use him. Having said that, he’s played at centre forward and in midfield for us, so he has a few strings to his bow. He’s a player who hasn’t even started with us yet and he’s just had two cup finals in a week. You can’t grumble about that.”
“The game was probably won for us by half time and we told the lads to make sure they kept it going,” he said. “We didn’t want to get sloppy or start giving it away too cheaply, but that’s exactly what happened for the first ten minutes or so after the break. They had a couple of chances and the worry was that it was going to get a bit nervy for a while.
“Fortunately we picked it up again and we scored some great goals. The move leading up to the Jack Lynch goal was terrific and, as a team effort, it was the pick of the bunch. The finish from Josh Todd was up there for individual quality, but they all had something which was pleasing to talk about.”
“I think it’s important for every player on the pitch, from the youngest to the oldest, to show the assistant manager what they can do,” he said. “Kav [Graham Kavanagh] has come into the dressing room and he has had positives to say about them all.
“That matters because we’re a professional club and we should always strive to get things right. This is a competition that the chairman loves and wants to win, and we had the added factor of becoming the first team to retain it for three seasons. We’ve done that and it’s an achievement for everyone to smile about.
“I do feel very proud because that’s my fourth winner’s medal now. It’s what the game is about, whatever level you play, so the lads get a big pat on the back for what they’ve done and for the way they’ve done it.”
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