Folow us on social media

Sign up to our mailing list

Place your family notice

Reds aiming to bounce back as they prepare for stiff Glenavon test

Ballymena's Adam Leckey challenges Cliftonville's Joe Gorman during Tuesday’s win for the Braidmen Ballymena's Adam Leckey challenges Cliftonville's Joe Gorman during Tuesday’s win for the Braidmen
By Kevin Herron

CLIFTONVILLE boss, Paddy McLaughlin expects his side will face another stiff test at the weekend when they face Glenavon.

The Reds head to Mourneview Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off) looking to recover from defeat at the hand of Ballymena United on Tuesday evening.

McLaughlin insists that momentum was there from their previous two victories over Newry and Warrenpoint Town and feels his side will face a tough and hungry Glenavon outfit.

“Momentum was there,” said McLaughlin.

“It’s the same with games and a run of matches. When you build up momentum and win games you can’t wait to play and approach your next game.

“We’ll try to recover from the Ballymena game between now and Saturday and look after ourselves the best we can.

“We’ll have to prepare for that, no doubt about it. It will be a tough game at Glenavon. It’s going to be tough, but we’ll look forward to it.”

McLaughlin rued his side’s first defeat under his tenure against Ballymena United on Tuesday evening and felt that a draw was the least his side deserved for their second half showing at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

“I’m sure it was an entertaining game for anyone who was there watching because both sides had a go,” Mclaughlin reflected.

“I think a draw might have been a fair result, but that’s why Ballymena are challenging to win the league. They can see things out and they defended for their lives.

“It was a bit of an onslaught at the end when we threw everything at it, but they defended brilliantly.

“If we had have rolled over at 2-0 down, we could have been on the wrong end of a heavy defeat, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the second goal to get something out of the game.”

Tuesday evening’s defeat means the Reds have still only won four away fixtures in the league this season and McLaughlin is under no illusions that his side must begin to improve on the road.

“You take as many points as you can when they’re on offer,” insists McLaughlin.

“I didn’t know our away record was the case, but if that’s the case, it’s something we’ve got to be working on because for a side as good as we have here, we should be picking up more wins than that away from home.

“Every game in the Premiership is really tough and we’ve had really tough sides to beat.

“There are sides that are tough enough to beat at home, never mind away from home. It’s something we’ll work on to try and improve.”

The former Institute boss admits he may not see his attacking philosophy take shape this season, but praised his new players’ adaptability to take instructions and new ideas onboard.

“It can take as long as it takes for any manager or any coach’s philosophy to get across the to the players,” admits McLaughlin.

“The one thing I’ve noticed about the Cliftonville players is that they’re very quick in receiving vital information, taking it on board and putting it onto the pitch. We’ve encouraged them from the day we’ve come in about playing.

“There is a time and a place when you can play, but it can’t always be the case. They’ve realised that early.

“You can play when it’s on and if it’s not on, you’ve got to back and go a bit more direct.

“Over the course of time, this season or the next, hopefully we will get better as a team and a group.

“They are already a good side. Their heads may have been down before we came in, but since we’ve been in they’ve been superb and responded to everything we’ve tried to do at training.

“They’ve responded to the exercises and done everything we’ve asked of them – long may it continue.”

Please follow and like us: