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Glentoran years away from winning league

By Scott Young

Published 26/01/2016

Tough times: Glens boss Alan Kernaghan
Tough times: Glens boss Alan Kernaghan
Cliftonville's new striker Darren Murray

Glentoran's 4-0 home defeat to Warrenpoint Town was a shocking result - unbelievable - but then again, perhaps it wasn't unbelievable after everything that has happened at The Oval this season.

You've got to ask the question has the club improved since Eddie Patterson was sacked in October?

The answer is no, it hasn't.

It's sometimes easy to criticise managers and players but the board of directors make the big decisions that affect the football club and they will be asking themselves, are we making the right calls?

Glentoran should be winning football matches, but they aren't.

They've won three out of 11 league matches under Alan Kernaghan and nine out of 25 this season.

The County Antrim Shield loss to H&W Welders was another huge blow and sadly some supporters will conclude that the club is a shambles.

Glentoran fans expect to see better teams and better performances.

The reality is the fans expect the club to be in a much healthier position.

What surprised me was when Alan was appointed there was no change in the backroom staff and I didn't view that as an ideal situation.

Did the club tell him that had to be the case?

You would imagine any manager would like to bring his own staff in to make the changes that are needed.

Alan was keen to take on the job, but candidates for a managerial position would think twice if they cannot bring their own people with them.

By inheriting the backroom staff it put Alan in a difficult position and he does not have a squad that is strong enough to move the club forward.

Alan also said he hoped the Glens would finish in the top two or three positions this season and I felt he was making a very ambitious statement.

He put pressure on himself, but I do feel sorry for him because he has little resources to work with.

Injuries to David Howland, Willie Garrett and Stephen McAlorum are unfortunate, but Alan will ultimately be judged on performances and who he brings to the club.

It's changed days in the sense that the Glens - and Linfield - are a less attractive proposition for some players.

Getting Stephen O'Flynn in would boost the attack, he's the sort of player they need to get back on track.

Everybody knows my history and who I am, but when I make a comment about Glentoran it will be my honest opinion.

The Glens are many years away from challenging for a league title.

If the club can find a new stadium and generate fresh revenue it would change the picture, but I've been listening to talk of a new stadium since I arrived at the club in 1998.

It could be a long time before the Glens are a title winning force again.

The play-offs for a European place could be a lifeline for them, but at this stage it looks likely they will miss out and suffer another financial hit.

Glentoran are one of the biggest teams in Northern Ireland, with the second biggest support, but the fans will not accept this underachievement.

Champions must be given shot at Scots

I  think the proposals to invite Irish League clubs to participate in a revamped Scottish Challenge Cup are a fantastic idea, but our current league champions need to be represented in the tournament.

It's definitely an idea worth exploring further, but we should find a way of having our best teams competing in it.

And I've no doubts our best teams could really test the majority of the teams in the Scottish Championship.

It's a great idea and it would be nice for our players to encounter different opposition rather than Ballymena United playing Linfield nearly every week! I loved the Setanta Cup competition because it was a different challenge to the players and the supporters would love a short trip to Scotland.

Murray should have served his sentence

Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson hit out at one our crazy rules at the weekend.

Anderson was unhappy that Cliftonville new boy Darren Murray's one-match ban was served when his former club Portadown faced Warrenpoint Town in midweek.

Earlier in the season, Ciaran Caldwell couldn't feature for Glentoran until Glenavon Reserves - with whom he'd been sent off - played six games. Darren scored on his home debut in a 2-0 win so no wonder Whitey was upset.

My view is that the player has to take responsibility for his actions and he should not avoid a ban in this way. Clubs cannot control what players do when they make a poor decision on the pitch.

Belfast Telegraph

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