It's one game at a time for Cliftonville insists Levi Ives

Levi Ives says Cliftonville will continue to block out the noise as they bid to turn a good season into a great one.

By Steven Crawford
Friday, 4th March 2022, 5:00 pm

The Reds are still in the hunt for three trophies as we move into the final two months of the season.

They entertain Coleraine tonight in the quarter-final of the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup before going head-to-head with the Bannsiders again next Sunday in the final of the BetMcLean League Cup.

Sandwiched in between those two games is a moth-watering league clash with title rivals Glentoran.

Cliftonville defender Levi Ives

For Ives and the Cliftonville squad though it’s a case of ‘one game at a time’.

“There’s no talk of titles, it’s just one game at a time for us,” said the full back.

“We just take one game at a time.

“The potential is there for us to be fighting on those fronts.

“I’m not surprised that we are in there.

“There was a bit of talk at the start of the season about whether we could compete, but we’re happy to be under the radar and just to keep ticking games off as they come.

“We don’t listen to anything outside, we’re a tight group and will take it one game at a time.”

Ives made a telling contribution last time out scoring the last goal in a 3-1 win over derby rivals Crusaders.

The defender was delighted with how the Reds responded after being pegged back by the ten-man Crues to pick up another valuable three points.

“A month or so ago we maybe would have been thinking we were going to drop points, but now we’ve our heads on,” said Ives.

“Like any team you might be off it for a spell but we got in at half time and regrouped and I thought we were excellent after that.

“The message was just to relax and play our game.

“We obviously had the extra man so we didn’t need to get involved in anything, just just needed to focus on what we do and it worked.”

Coleraine come into the game at Solitude on the back of a dramatic draw against Larne in midweek.

Boss Oran Kearney was pleased to see his side strike late on to grab a share of the spoils, but he was disappointed that the Bannsiders had to play the league game just three day before this cup quarter-final clash.

“Friday’s game is a game that needs no build-up,” he said.

“It has to be said it’s crazy how we landed the Larne fixture in the middle of it and I’ve no problem saying it.

“The Irish Cup as a competition over the years always had three weeks in the season when things were built around it to try and build the credit that the competition deserves.

“How we landed a fixture like Larne and our opposition don’t have a fixture like this makes it quite an unfair start to an entrance of such a big game.

“However, we’ve played plenty of games where we’ve had three games in six days or whatever else and this is just another phase of it.”