DAVID PARKHOUSE claims Derry City will 'do everything' in their power to make sure they retain the EA Sports Cup trophy this season.
The striker netted a brace against Finn Harps in last night's quarter-final tie at Brandywell, including an extra-time winner to ensure the Candy Stripes' place in the last four.
On loan from Premiership bound, Sheffield United, that double took Parkhouse's season's tally to seven goals as he leads Derry City's scoring charts.
His loan deal expires in the coming weeks but the club are working with his parent club in an attempt to keep the Strabane man at Brandywell for the remainder of the season.
And should a loan extension materialise Parkhouse is determined to do all he can to reach the EA Sports Cup showpiece on September 14th next.
"That's the motivation - to keep the trophy as it's ours at the minute," said the striker. "We'll do everything we can us as players and the backroom staff to make sure that trophy is ours for another year and maybe many more years to come."
When asked if he was prepared to stay on Foyleside, Parkhouse said the situation was out of his hands but he just wants to focus on his football.
"I'm looking to do what's best for me and at the minute there's nothing set in stone," he said. "We'll just have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks as it's getting closer to the end of the loan.
"The two clubs are talking now and that's between the two clubs, not me. I just want to focus on my football and we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks."
Derry were trailing their North West neighbours on Monday night to a 55th minute Nathan Boyle strike but Parkhouse got onto Ciaran Coll's superb cross and fired in from close range with seven minutes to go to take the tie to extra-time.
And just four minutes into the first half of extra-time Parkhouse pounced again as he raced onto Gerardo Bruna's searching pass, took it past the Harps keeper and slotted into the empty net.
That proved the winner despite a frantic conclusion to the match where Harps had two shots cleared off the line and one saved onto the crossbar by City keeper, Nathan Gartside before having Mark Coyle sent off.
The win came just three days after Derry romped to a one-sided 4-0 league win over the Ballybofey men at the same venue but it was a totally different game of football on Monday night,
"It was very competitive," agreed Parkhouse. "It was a cup game and against our derby rivals so it was always going to be competitive. It was slightly different to Friday night but you can't compare the two games and have to focus to get the win which thankfully we did.
"We weren't great the whole game but even though we weren't the best everybody was still determined and had the right mentality to dig in and get the result and thankfully we did in the end."
Parkhouse's extra-time winner was his fourth goal scored against Finn Harps this season and all four came late in the game. Indeed he netted on the 83rd minute and then the winner in the 94th minute - bizarrely the exact goal times on Monday night - when Derry battled to a 3-2 league win back in early April in Finn Park.
"It's a bit more exciting to get the goals when it's a derby game but I'll always try my best to get goals every game for the team to get the win," he said.
"That's the same throughout the team. You seen on Friday night it was 'Jackie's (Ciaron Harkin) turn to get the goals and we did what we did to get the win."
Talking through his goals, he said the connection between his teammates proved instrumental.
"It's about the connection between the players and you need to know what they're capable of and they need to know what you're capable of. I knew the defence was playing a high line and as soon as Bruna got the ball we had that eye contact instantly. It was second nature. I spun in behind and he played the ball in and thankfully it fell to me and it went into the net."
The first one, I'm a big lad and that's my bread and butter to get into the box for crosses. It was a brilliant cross. We do it week in, week out in training and it paid off tonight."