Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran players staying united behind Young, says Ward

Sean Ward insists that the Glentoran players are 100% behind their manager Scott Young.

The Glens’ roller-coaster season hit a new low last Saturday when Ballymena United banished their derby blues by running out 4-2 winners at the Oval.

The defeat left the east Belfast side — who visit Glenavon this afternoon — trailing Linfield and Portadown by eight points in the Carling Premiership and Young later cast doubt on whether he was getting the best performances out of his players.

Previous Glentoran boss Roy Coyle was understandably incensed when it was claimed he had lost the dressing room at the Oval and while the Scot didn’t come out with that statement he did wonder why experienced players were not producing the goods.

Football fans are often dismissed as fickle but the Glentoran supporters will recognise that there is a rebuilding job going on at Mersey Street.

With young players you will get inconsistency but Young is more concerned with the form of his established performers and it was the defence in particular that failed to show up against the Sky Blues, allowing Gary McCutcheon to snatch a hat-trick.

Ward was one of the Glentoran defenders given the runaround and he’s quick to put his hands up and say his form hasn’t been good enough this season.

It’s a source of much frustration for him, particularly as he has overcome injury heartache.

But the 27-year-old insists the players and manager are pulling in the same direction.

“The players are 100% behind the manager and we all have to take responsibility for what is going on,” said Ward. “We are making too many individual errors and I was certainly upset when Gary McCutcheon made a fool out of me.

“There is no discontent and there are no disputes in the camp. Scott has brought Gary Hamilton into the team and we are all in this together. It’s now a case of everyone digging in and working hard.

“I’m very disappointed with my own form particularly after my injury last year (broken collarbone) but you don’t have a divine right to win matches and there has to be a 100% commitment to turn things around.

“People are asking me what is going on at Glentoran but we are all hurting and it’s a time when we have to stay together.”

It must be frustrating for the Glens fans to see their players take one step forward and then one step back. The win over Linfield at Windsor Park proved that the ability is there — but attitude is just as important in the game and the fans will not accept a lack of hunger, desire and passion.

“We are going through a rebuilding process but that’s not an excuse for our performances,” admitted Ward. “It’s been said that we have conceded 21 goals this season, including in Europe, and that’s unacceptable.”

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