Eddie Patterson wary of shot-shy Peter Thompson
Eddie Patterson expects Peter Thompson to explode into life very soon — but the Cliftonville boss hopes it isn’t tomorrow.
The Reds return to Windsor Park — the scene of their 2-0 County Antrim Shield loss on Tuesday night.
Although the fixture list has offered the north-Belfast side a quick opportunity to gain revenge, Patterson is aware that Northern Ireland international Thompson is hungry to get back on the goalscoring trail.
Thommo hasn’t found the net in six appearances but you can’t keep a prolific marksman like him quiet for long.
“Peter is like Chris Scannell in the sense that he is a real dangerman,” said the Solitude supremo. “Even though they may not be scoring goals their workrate is phenomenal and they are creating chances for others.
“Since Glenn Ferguson has left, there has possibly been a bit of a role reversal, with Peter having to win the ball a lot more but he has come back from England a stronger player.
“He’s not just a predator, he’s improved his all round game and link-up play but I have no doubt he will hit the goal-trail very soon.”
Patterson is hoping his men put up a stronger fight than in the Shield showdown, with Stephen Garrett and Barry Holland returning to the side, though George McMullan remains doubtful with a groin injury.
“The big plus for me on Tuesday night was the performance of Dermot McVeigh at left-back,” added Patterson. “Although it was his first game for the club he did very well and I was delighted with his performance.
“We did create chances in the game and had a stonewall penalty turned down but that’s football and we should have a stronger side available for the league game.
“Windsor Park has been a happy hunting ground for us at times but only when we have a strong squad to select from.
“We have just played in fits and
starts in matches and we need to be more consistent over the course of the 90 minutes.”
Even though Glentoran have started the season in impressive fashion, champions Linfield remain the benchmark for other clubs and Cliftonville will be offered another reminder of the Blues’ firepower.
“Linfield showed us what they can do on Tuesday night and when you come up against players like Jamie Mulgrew, Robert Garrett, Peter Thompson and William Murphy you know you have to be on your game,” said Patterson.
“Glentoran have also made a good start and even though they have made one change, with Neil Gawley coming in, there seems to be a change in attitude among the players with more fight and determination being shown.
“Their style of play suits the players and they are going about their business well.
“They will be tough to beat as will Linfield but from our perspective we need to be more clinical in front of goal.
“We are creating chances and I was pleased with our performance against Linfield but we have to score goals to win games. At times we have huffed and puffed without finishing off teams and we must do that.”