League Cup Final: Levi Ives determined to deliver the goods

Levi Ives is hoping to take a leaf out of his day job and deliver the goods for Cliftonville!

By Steven Crawford
Saturday, 12th March 2022, 8:00 am

As a delivery driver, Ives knows the importance of delivering items on time - and he feels now is the time for the Reds to pick up some prized items of their own.

Cliftonville have earned so many plaudits this season for the way they have gone about their business.

They are still challenging on all three fronts, with the chance of an unbelievable ‘Treble’ still on the cards.

Levi Ives wants to add to his medal haul at Cliftonville

It’s been quite a week for Cliftonville as they beat Coleraine to progress to the Irish Cup semi-finals before their midweek victory over Glentoran to strengthen their league title aspirations.

Tomorrow they have their chance to secure a first piece of silverware this term in the BetMcLean League Cup final - and Ives admitted it’s trophies not pats on the back that they want.

“You want medals at the end of every season, so it would be great to finish this campaign with some silverware,” said the full-back.

“I’ve won the League Cup before with Cliftonville and it was brilliant, but this is my sixth season at Cliftonville and I’ve only two medals to show for it.

“We just have to take each game as it comes.

“I don’t think any of the teams competing at the top would really look too far ahead because it is so tight.

“I know at our end the message is just one game at a time.

“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself.”

Ives has been in sparkling form for the Reds this season and he points to boss Paddy McLaughlin for helping him reach those levels - even though things maybe didn’t get off to the best of starts when McLaughlin took over at Solitude.

“Paddy has been amazing,” said Ives. “He’s helped my career a lot with the way I’ve changed my game.

“When he first came in he didn’t play me for the first couple of months.

“He said I was too heavy!

“But he does look after all his players and tells them what needs to be done and what doesn’t need to be done.

“His man-management is the best I’ve come across.

“His backroom staff have been excellent as well.”

Cliftonville have had the upper hand over the Bannsiders so far this season with three wins and one draw in the four games so far.

Ives though can’t pinpoint why they have been so dominant.

“I couldn’t put my finger on why we’ve had the upper hand a bit this season,” he said. “It is probably just the momentum that we have brought from the start of the season.

“We’ve managed to keep that going because we are doing well...it’s one of those things, we’ve just been better on the day.”