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Carabao Cup

Jamie Redknapp on... the Carabao Cup

Read a Q&A with the former Liverpool man ahead of this year's Quarter-Finals

9 December 2020

Jamie Redknapp knows a thing or two about the League Cup, having won the competition as a player and since covered it as a pundit for Sky Sports.

Ahead of this year's Quarter-Finals, here are his memories of 1995 and advice to players as the competition heats up... 

On winning the ’95 Final…

I suppose my pass to Steve McManaman would count as an assist these days! I just gave it to him and said ‘go on, Macca, go and beat everyone’. It was his Final; they still call it ‘The McManaman Final’. He could drop a shoulder and send you to the cleaners! I definitely enjoyed that Final afterwards, I can remember that!

How to approach big games…

No matter which way you build it up, there will be nerves on both sides. Your mentality should be to play as well as you can; people say you should try to enjoy it, but it’s easier said than done with the nerves. You know the expectation is there, and you don’t want to let your fans or family down. The game can go so quickly, so the last thing you want is to think ‘I haven’t done my best’. You have to try your best to enjoy what is an amazing occasion, but it’s important to put your body on the line and play as well as you can as a team.

Reaching Wembley…

It will always be a big factor. To play there at any time, whether it’s your first or 10th time, it always feels special. The feeling of walking out, the noise, the flags, the colour… it’s a spectacle. No-one wants to be on the losing side, everyone wants to win, and this competition has thrown up some surprises. I remember Birmingham beating Arsenal in the Final, so it can happen.  

Pre-match mind games…

I think that side of the game has gone, a little bit. Players seem to get on now, and we don’t see those antics in the tunnel now. We look back at the old games where players kicked lumps out of each other and it’s not like that now. You simply have to stand up and be counted.

The key to winning the Cup…

I’ve won it and lost in the Final, and I think you need that element of luck. You obviously need to perform well; you can’t take these games lightly and you have to play as a team. You never know, there can always be a surprise.

This interview originally appeared in the official 2020 Carabao Cup Final programme.


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