Mahon delighted with Cup decision

WITH both a winners' and a losers' medal in his collection, Alan Mahon loves the League Cup so much he would have been furious if Blackburn had refused to allow him to play tomorrow at Notts County, writes Derek Davis.

WITH both a winners' and a losers' medal in his collection, Alan Mahon loves the League Cup so much he would have been furious if Blackburn had refused to allow him to play tomorrow at Notts County, writes Derek Davis.

But, unlike Chris Bart-Williams, whom Charlton have denied permission to play in what is now known as the Carling Cup, Mahon should be a starter and is looking forward to continuing his rich vein of form.

The 25-year-old won a League Cup winner's medal with Blackburn in 2002 but took home a runners-up medal after Tranmere Rovers lost the final two years earlier.

He said: "I would have been disappointed if Blackburn had not let me play because Ipswich are my club now.


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"If they had have said no it would have been stupid, as I have two cup medals and I want to be playing.

"It is a competition I enjoy and Ipswich gave me my chance and if Blackburn were not playing it would have been bad not to let me play for Ipswich in the Cup – but thank God Graeme Souness has given the go-ahead."

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The Republic of Ireland international, who put in a man-of-the-match performance in the win over Wimbledon on Saturday, is desperate to do well for his new club, even if it means a fourth game in 10 days. Mahon admits he was almost out on his feet at Portman Road on Saturday but had enough strength to carry the champagne bottle out as he made the long way home to the north-west. He said: "I have not played competitive football since I was on loan at Cardiff at the end of last April. The lads have had a half dozen games head-start but I felt a lot better against Wimbledon. Every game is a gradual process but I feel a lot fitter."

The ex-Tranmere Rovers and Sporting Lisbon winger would have relished the chance to fire in his first goal for the club but believes skipper Jim Magilton did totally the right thing to hand Pablo Counago the ball after Dean Bowditch won a penalty.

Mahon said: "Pablo is a fantastic player and just needs one goal to get him started. Jim realised that and handed him the ball. He is a cool customer and stuck it in the net. But I have no problems taking penalties if needed."

The left winger set up Town's victory with deep cross for Alun Armstrong to stoop and score. He later crossed again to the far post where Darren Bent and Armstrong were involved before Richard Naylor bundled in and he completed his own "assist hat-trick" by delivering low cross which skimmed past Counago but Bent met, again at the far post.

Mahon said: "They gave us a lot of space down the flanks and we exploited it. Crossing is my strength and if you can get decent crosses in you can score. I was happy with the form. Hopefully that will help us step up a level and get the confidence going for the rest of the season."

After signing a three-month loan deal, Mahon is hopeful, in the long term, that he will earn a permanent contract, even though he still has another season after this on his deal with Rovers.

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