Liverpool supremo Brendan Rodgers extends congratulations to Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin

WINDSOR FLING: Tommy Breslin with his Cliftonville players
WINDSOR FLING: Tommy Breslin with his Cliftonville players

Tommy Breslin was still coming to terms with Cliftonville’s runaway IRN-BRU League Cup victory on Sunday night.

The Reds manager’s new mobile phone was working overtime to deal with the overwhelming number of congratulatory text messages.

“I haven’t transferred a lot of numbers over to this new phone yet, so I don’t know who has sent a lot of the messages,” Breslin joked.

“And no sooner have I answered one than another three arrive. It has been an amazing response.”

There was one special text message received on Saturday night that Breslin did recognise, however, from a certain Brendan Rodgers.

The Liverpool manager was one of the first to congratulate the Cliftonville boss following his side’s 4-0 hammering of derby rivals Crusaders at Windsor Park.

“The connection stems from the time Brendan was manager of Swansea and they were interested in Rory Donnelly,” Breslin explained.

“I spoke with Brendan a number of times back then.

“He congratulated me and the club for the cup win and said he was an admirer of the way we tried to play football.

“He is a lover of that style of football and he appreciated it. He just told us to keep it going.

“But there were so many who sent their congratulations, from people I did my coaching badges with to other Irish League managers.

“It is nice that people appreciate what we have done, and what we are trying to do. The Irish League is often maligned, but we want to prove to people that there are good teams and players in the league.

“Everyone has raised their game this season. Crusaders, Coleraine, Ballinamallard, Linfield – just to name a few. We have a lot to offer in the Irish Premiership and we want to improve.”

Breslin also praised the Red Army, Cliftonville’s loyal fans who turned out in their droves for Saturday’s League Cup final – as they have done for most of the season.

“We went back to the club last night and celebrated with the fans. It is important that the fans can savour this moment with us. They are the lifeblood of Cliftonville and many of them dedicate a lot of their time to the club.

“They spend a lot of money on season tickets, merchandise and shirts etc. So we had a good party with them into the small hours.

“It was a great night. I am proud and delighted the players went out and put on a show in front of the cameras. That’s what impressed me more.

“They are talented lads and work hard, and there is more in them. I want to be entertained, and it is important for the players to play football the way it should be.

“I want to be excited and take pride in their play. I want to enjoy watching my players performing, and some days it happens, some it doesn’t.”