Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 26th December 2018

Today is the game that so many people have been looking forward to for so long.

It’s a huge game and one which will attract probably the biggest gate in the local football calendar but all we are focused on is securing the three points that this game, like every other game, will offer to the winners.

Glentoran always make life difficult for us and I’ve no doubt that they will provide a huge obstacle to us today. They are lower in the league table than a club of their stature should be but they will play with pride for their large following in attendance at today’s game.

Our players have been looking forward to this game for a long time and I know that our supporters at home and those home from abroad for Christmas have been snapping up tickets for weeks.

This article has been penned before Saturday’s home game against Glenavon and hopefully, we came through that game with the right result and with our squad fully intact.

We have had two games postponed in a week - away to Newry and the County Antrim Shield semi-final away to Ballymena and those rearranged dates are going to add to an already congested fixture list in the coming weeks. However, it’s a one game at a time approach and no matter what lies ahead, all that we are focused on is the next game and there’s none bigger than today’s Boxing Day ‘Big Two’ game.

At this mid-way point in the season, we are in a challenging position in the league table and we have a League Cup final to look forward to in February and a County Antrim Shield semi-final probably in January, both against Ballymena. In addition, we will commence our Irish Cup campaign in January, so we will have a lot to compete for in the New year on several fronts.

In a few days time, the transfer window will open and supporters can rest assured that if there are any players who we can bring in at this stage and at the right price, we will do all in our power to bring them in, if we feel they can strengthen the playing squad. Our scouts have been regularly monitoring targets and providing me with up to date reports, as we endeavour to attract the best available players within our budget.

It may be that one or two players will move out on loan in the comimg weeks, if they feel they need to benefit from increased game time elsewhere.

At this festive time, I want to thank all my staff for their efforts over the course of the season and I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone associated with the club a very Happy, prosperous and successful New Year.

This is a game where I know both sets of supporters will create a great atmosphere and I just hope we give our supporters plenty of reasons to cheer the loudest
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