O'Conor's trophy quest in Setanta final
Sligo Rovers midfielder Paul O’Conor has said he wants to complete the first fulfilment of his expectations at the club and win a trophy with the Bit o’ Red on a Saturday.
O’Conor and his team-mates meet Dundalk in Tallaght Stadium as Rovers take part in the Setanta Sports Cup final for the first time.
When joining the club, O’Conor laid out him ambition to win medals with Rovers and he sees Saturday’s game as an early chance to do so.
“I can't wait for the game to be honest. When you come to a club like Sligo Rovers, you're expected to win trophies and this is the first opportunity to win one. We're going to go into it believing that we will do so. We're looking forward to going to Tallaght and bringing home the trophy.
“I was in this stadium last year with Drogheda and it went badly. We didn't win it and I feel like I've learned from that game last year.
“There is plenty of experienced players in the squad that are making all of the new players realise how important this game it is and how important it is to win a trophy this early in the season. It would give the club such a lift early on and it would be a great feeling to win it. “
O’Conor has admitted he is still adjusting to his new side but the 26-year-old is making a growing contribution to the Bit o’ Red’s season, having secured a place in the starting line-up in the competitive Rovers midfield
“I'm still adjusting to the team,” he said.
“It's a great team we have here. It's a great club and community of football.
“When you're scoring goals it certainly boosts confidence. I want to keep that goal-scoring form going. I have two goals so far, I have a target in mind of what I want to reach and if I can get one in a Cup final that'd be even better.
“Confidence is growing because of how long we have gone unbeaten in the league. The game against St Pat's was a sign of how things have changed for us. If we had played that game earlier on in the season we might have lost it.
“We showed a lot of character to come back in and get the draw in the last couple of minutes. There is a lot of character in this season and we feel we're very much heading in the right direction.”
The league match between the sides has little significance for Saturday’s game, according to the former UCD player.
Like team-mate Alan Keane, O’Conor thinks the Cup will be claimed by the side that wants it the most.
“We were devastated at the time of that game but that was the league and this is the Cup final. It's a separate occasion.
“No matter who we play we want to win. We just want to come into the Cup final believing we can win and come back to Sligo with the trophy.”
Tickets for the Setanta Sports Cup final are on sale from 2pm to 5:30pm in The Showgrounds on Friday, from €5 to €15.