Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

David Healy: Big Mac needs a Big Two break to recharge the batteries

I was disappointed to hear that Alan McDonald had left the manager’s position at Glentoran.

Most football followers in Northern Ireland know my allegiances lie with Linfield, but I’ve always had a lot of time for big Mac. I had the pleasure of working with him when he was a coach at international level and have always found him to be a genuine, honest bloke.

And a great football man.

Managing a club like Glentoran, or Linfield as David Jeffrey would tell you, is tough.

The fans are hugely demanding and this season Alan (pictured) has seemingly been under a lot of pressure.

It’s worth remembering that he guided the Glens to the title last season ending a period of Linfield dominance in the process, but that didn’t appear to matter to Glentoran fans over the last few months.

Alan clearly felt enough was enough and decided to leave the job.

As an outsider looking in I reckon the big man needed a break and time to sit and relax and get away from all the pressures that come with being in charge of a Big Two side in Belfast.

Hopefully, though, he will be back in the game at some stage.

His old team Glentoran have to sort themselves out and quickly because they play Linfield at the Oval on Saturday in the Irish Cup quarter-final.

That is a huge game, maybe more so for the Glens now because of McDonald’s departure and the fact the Blues are looking strong for the league title.

One thing is for sure Linfield won’t show their fiercest rivals any sympathy.

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