Last updated : 24 January 2003 By Editor

“The Worthington Cup has definitely lifted our season because when you get through a quarter-final and then a semi you feel as though you are having a good season.

"Now we are in the final it will give us extra confidence and then if we get a result in the final itself that will give us yet another boost. So I hope that is what happens.

"To get to a final is a great achievement. It is a long time since United were at a final so I am happy that I am part of it. It means a lot.

"If you look at the games we had to win to get to the final it wasn't easy. That's why we've got a good feeling because we've worked hard to reach Cardiff and get the results we wanted.

"Now the main goal is to win it. It should be a great final and a great day in Cardiff. With the support both teams have off the field and the two sides on the pitch it can make it a good game and occasion.

"The FA Cup is a good draw for us. But the FA Cup is a strange competition. Anyone can beat anyone it doesn't matter where you play or how you are playing.

"I had heard people talking about the FA Cup but now I have been in it myself I know anything can happen so we have to be aware of that against West Ham.”

Big Fat Ron looks back to 1983:

I was in charge of United the last time these teams met in the League Cup final, in 1983, and in some ways the roles have been reversed. We were then trying to challenge Liverpool's supremacy and get ourselves established as their strongest rivals. We lost 2-1 after extra-time and I'm sure the losers this time will hurt just as much as we did.

In 1983 there was no question of resting players in the League Cup, let alone in the final. It was a very prestigious tournament and I remember beating Arsenal, who put out weak teams these days, in a two-leg semi-final. The shame about the final was that we didn't have Bryan Robson, which was a massive out, and we finished up with Frank Stapleton and Lou Macari at centre-half.

Gordon McQueen and Kevin Moran had got injured and at that time you could only put on one substitute. We were winning 1-0 but had to adjust, and I'm pretty sure we would have held on otherwise. I remember looking at Bob Paisley and co on the Liverpool bench with a few minutes left and thinking: "They don't think they can do it."

They were so quiet. We had a habit of beating them in league games then and they probably thought: "Oh, no, not again." Then Alan Kennedy hit a shot that Gary Bailey probably should have saved and forced extra-time. It was a question of hoping we could hang on for a replay but, with virtually the last kick, Ronnie Whelan curled in a magnificent winner.

We had an FA Cup semi-final coming up and I remember saying to the lads: "Just remember how the hurt is. Let's get back here in two months' time and take the place by storm." We did get to the final and beat Brighton after a replay.