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Aizlewood sets sights on historic cup double

By Carmarthen Journal  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

By Dafydd Pritchard

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CARMARTHEN Town have set their sights on a cup double, with manager Mark Aizlewood declaring the Old Gold are good enough to win the Welsh Cup.

Carmarthen host Prestatyn Town in the quarter-finals on Saturday, hoping to add the Welsh Cup to the Word Cup they won earlier this season following a penalty shootout triumph over The New Saints.

And having played their first competitive game for three weeks with their 1-0 Welsh Premier League defeat to Bangor City last weekend, Aizlewood believes his side will be in better shape to take on Prestatyn.

"I really do feel that we can win the Welsh Cup," he said.

"It is another competition in which we can have success.

"I am thankful we have got the Bangor game out of the way and all the ring-rusty performances are now behind everybody. The 'real' Carmarthen will turn up against Prestatyn.

"We now have 18 first-team players for the rest of the season. Neil (Smothers, assistant manager) and I will be constantly rotating team selection. This is to ensure that every player will be totally match fit for the season's latter stages."

Aizlewood bemoaned Carmarthen's lack of match fitness following their Welsh Premier League loss to Bangor, but he admitted such a failing was inevitable after a three-week break from competitive action.

"My team were just not match fit," he said.

"In no way, shape or form does my disappointment involve the players. It was due totally to the situation we found ourselves in. Last Saturday was our first competitive game for three weeks and it looked like it.

"We were nowhere near to the team we were in our last match against Newtown. We had completely lost the momentum we had built up and which we were originally going to take into the second phase of the Welsh Premier League season.

"I do not wish to take anything away from a Bangor side who did a professional job, but it was not Bangor that beat us. It was the situation my players found themselves in.

"Along with Neil, I tried everything possible to keep the players match-fit but the term explains itself and means you can only do this by playing matches.

"The very fact we only lost by the odd goal, and possibly even deserved a draw, is testimony to the players' attitude and character.

"They were obviously not at their best but kept going throughout the 90 minutes. This is a quality we will need in abundance between now and the end of the season."

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