HAY DESPERATE FOR CUP SUCCESS

Kilmarnock veteran Garry Hay realises Sunday is more than likely to be his cup final swansong.

Last Updated: 17/03/12 at 14:26 Post Comment

Garry Hay: Enjoying Cup final week

Garry Hay: Enjoying Cup final week

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Kilmarnock veteran Garry Hay treats every game as if it is his last in order to get the best out of himself - but he fully realises Sunday is more than likely to be his cup final swansong.

The 34-year-old was a Kilmarnock player the last time they brought a trophy back to Ayrshire, but had yet to break into the first team when they won the 1997 Scottish Cup.

The left-sided player has only experienced defeat in final appearances - losing to Celtic in 2001 and Hibernian in 2007.

So he is determined to give everything he can possibly muster when Killie face Celtic in the Scottish Communities League Cup final.

Hay said: "Cup final weeks are a special time, they don't come around often.

"I've been lucky enough to experience a few so it's really nice for all the guys who haven't experienced it before.

"You have to make sure they take it all in and when we go out on the pitch they don't leave anything inside.

"We've got to give maximum effort to make sure we come off winning.

"You've got to believe. We'll go out and give everything we've got. That's all we can do, we can only control what we can do."

Hay added: "Obviously I'm getting on in years. I do genuinely treat every game as if it's going to be my last game and certainly this game being a cup final.

"That's 2001, 2007 and 2012. I'll not be here in 2017 still talking to you and playing so there is certainly a good chance it could be."

The Hampden appearance is further proof of Kilmarnock's rejuvenation under Kenny Shiels and his predecessor Mixu Paatelainen.

Killie sealed a top-six place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League last season after the pair took over a team who had been one goal away from relegation.

While they have not been as consistent this season under Shiels, they have had their highs such as leading Celtic 3-0 at half-time and beating Rangers home and away.

"Cup finals are a bonus and a reward for how hard we've worked over the last couple of years," Hay said.

"It's a good reward for the players and the staff and the management, and all the fans obviously. It's such a big, big day for them and we don't want to let them down."

Hay, born and bred in Kilmarnock, knows a fair few of those supporters but he has not been under pressure to sort them tickets for the sell-out clash.

"It's not been too bad," he said. "I've got my family coming but most of my friends have sorted out their own tickets, which is handy."

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