Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Patterson urges Glentoran to show their mettle

By Graham Luney

Eddie Patterson says he can handle the heat as Glentoran manager - he just wants his players to be up for the challenge.

The Glens embark on the long trip to Ballinamallard United in the Wasp Solutions League Cup quarter-finals tonight (7.45pm) still reeling from their 4-2 defeat to Glenavon at the Oval on Saturday.

Patterson's men stormed 2-0 in front in the early stages but capitulated as the Lurgan Blues staged a stunning revival.

It was a deserved win for Gary Hamilton's side while Glens fans were left wondering how their team could fold like a deck of cards.

The east Belfast giants were brought down to earth by Bangor in the County Antrim Shield and another knockout blow by the Mallards tonight would be tough to stomach.

Patterson, who takes his side to Windsor Park for a clash against Linfield on Saturday, accepts his largely youthful side will show some inconsistency but he won't tolerate any player throwing in the towel.

"This is a massive game for us," said the Glens boss. "I pick the team and I couldn't agree more with the fans who are critical of the team's performance.

"I did think we threw the towel in. We had to make a like for like change in the first half (Calum Birney for Jay Magee) but things didn't change in the manner we would have liked.

"In the second half our midfield, other than Stephen McAlorum, was missing. Jordan Stewart is winning challenges he should not be and none of my team is getting across to help him out.

"That is unacceptable and maybe some people think they are on easy street with the injuries we have including Marcus Kane, David Howland and Willie Garrett.

"It's hard to take, particularly after our performance against Ballymena United. The first 25 minutes and then to capitulate after that following one substitution is just not acceptable.

"Certain individuals threw the towel in and I will deal with that in the changing room, we won't wash our dirty linen in public. We prefer to do our stuff in house, but from a team perspective the performance was unacceptable.

"We have talked about inconsistency but it's a mental attitude question. That's something we must address. I've been sticking up for the players.

"The majority are young and inexperienced but they should look at Jordan Stewart's performances.

"Look at the effort he put in on Saturday. It doesn't just come down to the older players.

"When the going gets tough questions will be asked of players and they must answer them.

"They can't go hiding. Stephen McAlorum and Jordan Stewart don't."

Injuries are mounting at a key time and Jim O'Hanlon (hamstring) and Jay Magee (calf) require treatment.

Patterson must freshen his panel this evening but after Saturday's showing he will be more than happy to ring the changes.

He added: "We will have to call in a few reserves for the Ballinamallard game if players aren't prepared to step up. When one door closes another can open for someone else."

Glentoran have confirmed they have lodged an appeal against Gary Hamilton's involvement in Glenavon's 4-2 triumph at the Oval on Saturday.

The Glens believe player-manager Hamilton, who scored twice, should have been serving a one-match suspension after he was dismissed from the dugout against Linfield last week.

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