Carl McHugh: Cup run can be Motherwell's launchpad
McHugh reached his second League Cup final when he led Motherwell to a 2-0 victory over Rangers on Sunday four years after scoring for Bradford against Aston Villa at the same stage of the English version.
Bradford were in the bottom tier at the time but are now pushing for promotion to the Sky Bet Championship under former Motherwell boss Stuart McCall.
McHugh feels the momentum could also work wonders for Motherwell but he is determined to ensure he enjoys a better experience against Celtic on 26 November after losing 5-0 to Swansea at Wembley.
The 24-year-old said: “It’s massive. After I left Bradford, after we went on that run, the club went from strength to strength. I have always had a strong connection with the supporters since then because we had that special time. I would love to go that one step further with Motherwell. To win a cup with them would be the stuff of dreams.”
Celtic are on a 60-game unbeaten domestic run but have yet to play Stephen Robinson’s new-look side this season and McHugh is adamant they can upset the odds again. “I don’t see why not,” the Irishman said. “We have beaten Aberdeen, we have beaten Rangers. I don’t think we have anything to fear.
“We want to go and win the game. We are not going to come for a day out. Finals are there to be won. You are not going to have fond memories if you lose it.
“And when you see the fans at the end, it’s unbelievable. They deserve it.”
Bruno Alves accused Motherwell of an “unacceptable” approach after Ryan Bowman broke Fabio Cardoso’s nose with a flailing elbow but McHugh saw nothing wrong with their style after Louis Moult’s double earned them a first League Cup final in 13 seasons.
The former Plymouth player said: “We’re not ashamed to say we are a physical team. We are strong and they probably struggled to handle Moulty and Bowie. I don’t think we played that well to be honest. We could have used the ball better. But the way we play, we are always in the game.”