Belfast Telegraph

Double accolade for Reds duo

by Chris McCann

Eddie Patterson knew December could make or break Cliftonville’s chances of mounting a serious title challenge.

Massive tests against the top three lay in wait — but the Reds stood up to the plate to prove they have what it takes despite a shaky start to the month, earning Patterson the Carling Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association Manager of the Month award.

With most Carling Premiership matches called off due to the extreme weather conditions, the Solitude men beat the snow and big freeze thanks to their 3G pitch.

Glentoran, in early December, adapted better to the conditions to seal a win at the north Belfast venue. Instead of crumbling, Patterson's troops hit back in stunning fashion, putting champions Linfield and bitter neighbours Crusaders to the sword.

Patterson, who celebrated his sixth award as top boss making it a Reds double with Stephen Garrett named Player of the Month, dedicated the honour to his assistant Tommy Breslin and coach Paul Trainor. “The players have been vital and their attitude and commitment has been outstanding,” said Patterson

He said “two massive victories” in December had “given everyone a lift to push on for the remainder of the season”.

Carling’s Jordana Grimes said: “Cliftonville battled hard against all the elements and enjoyed a number of fantastic wins. This was ultimately down to great leadership from Eddie Patterson so I'm thrilled the Reds manager has picked up another Carling award.”

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