Belfast Telegraph

Lyttle wields axe and calls for fresh faces to lift the gloom

By Stuart McKinley

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle has vowed to make changes to his line-up when they face Glentoran at The Oval tonight.

Rather than rotating his line up with Saturday's Irish Cup quarter-final clash with Linfield in mind, the Solitude boss will wield the axe on some of his top names after Saturday's shambolic 3-1 defeat at home to Coleraine.

Lyttle is calling on those who will face the Glens to step up and show their true colours.

"We were all upset after Saturday because we didn't perform and the players who go out against Glentoran show be looking to put things right," said Lyttle.

"We didn't work hard and we didn't apply ourselves so it's got to improve.

"We have big games coming up and there is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves.

"The good thing is that we have another match coming up straight away and we have to look forward, not back."

The Reds have now suffered consecutive defeats for the first time in Lyttle's six-month reign and they have failed to win since lifting the JBE League Cup less than a month ago.

After also losing to Crusaders they are now 13 points behind the leaders and Lyttle admits that his team's league title hopes have now evaporated.

There is, however, a lot to play for.

"It would be daft of me to say that we are going to win the league now - it's Crusaders' to throw away," said Lyttle.

"We still have plenty to fight for and we have to try to make sure we qualify for Europe, which now, with the play-off system in place, means we have to finish second to guarantee that.

"That's why the Glentoran game is such a big one for us.

"We can close the gap on Linfield and then look to put as much pressure as we can on them."

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