David Jeffrey hailed rampant Linfield after they booked their place in the County Antrim Shield final with a thumping 4-1 victory over Cliftonville.
Things started badly for the Reds with George McMullan firing into his own net, and further strikes from Matthew Tipton, Michael Carvill and Andy Waterworth compounded the visitors’ misery.
McMullan pulled one back in injury time, but it was too little too late for the jaded visitors who made eight changes from the weekend.
“People will point to the fact that Cliftonville were not at full strength, but it was still a very, very strong side,” said Jeffrey.
“I thought our players showed great resolve and determination.
“They worked very hard, but even at 3-0, I still didn’t think the job was done.
“It was a pleasing performance. It’s another step in our rebuilding process – we are still a work in progress.”
Referee Hugh Carvill threatened to abandon the game following sectarian chanting from both sets of supporters near the finish.
But both managers insisted it had no part to play in sport.
“I just want to focus on football, not what goes on off the pitch,” said Linfield chief Jeffrey.
The Blues manager’s sentiments were echoed by Cliftonville counterpart Tommy Breslin.
“It’s wrong, and things like that can have no part of our game,” Breslin said.
“We can’t go back to the dark days – that’s now all behind us.”