Belfast Telegraph

The Reds are behind you!

By Graham Luney

What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster – no, it's Cliftonville.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of Linfield and Crusaders breathing heavily.

The Reds have got their mojo back and their early season blues are now firmly behind them.

Yes, the champions failed to start the season in top gear but I never believed their form was anywhere near crisis proportions.

I heard people say it was win or bust for Tommy Breslin's men against Linfield last weekend, but I never felt that way.

Even if they had lost that game, anyone who came to the conclusion they were out of the title race would have been talking balderdash.

We've only reached the half-way mark of the championship race and there is plenty of time to repair damage.

But there's nothing like winning football matches to breed confidence and lift spirits and the victory over David Jeffrey's side was an important psychological lift at just the right time. The Reds are relying on the sharp-shooting skills of Joe Gormley (pictured) who has already blasted in 22 goals this season.

His partnership with Liam Boyce is central to the Solitude side's title hopes and when they're in the mood – which is quite often – they are unplayable.

Last season the point was always made that most of the Cliftonville players hadn't the experience of winning a title, but now they do and back to back wins at Solitude – a venue where they have already failed to win on five occasions this season – is just what the doctor ordered.

Linfield and Crusaders, meanwhile, proved their title mettle again at the weekend but the champions are only four points adrift and well placed to go on and retain the Gibson Cup.

Elsewhere, Glentoran got back to winning ways and if only they could have turned some of their six draws into wins, Eddie Patterson's charges would be challenging for top spot.

Their next game is against Crusaders who are 22 games unbeaten. Incredible.

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