Belfast Telegraph

Big Two form irrelevant to Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson

By Stuart McKinley

Eddie Patterson has claimed that league positions will mean nothing as he prepares to enter another Big Two battle.

His Glentoran team are languishing in eighth place in the Premiership and Saturday's win over Dungannon Swifts was their first in six games.

In contrast, Linfield are top after stringing together a seven-match winning run.

Patterson, however, will read nothing into current form as he aims to book a place in the quarter-finals.

"Irrespective of where the teams are in the league, or what positions they are in, these are always interesting games," said Patterson.

"This one will be no different to any other.

"Over the last few weeks, we have played some fantastic football against some of the top teams and we've got no reward from it.

"Tuesday is another game though. It's going to be one of hard graft because of the nature of Glentoran v Linfield games and we'll be ready for it."

Glentoran haven't beaten their great Belfast rivals since April 2012, having failed to win any of the five meetings between the teams last season – in contrast to the previous season when Linfield didn't even manage to score a goal against the Glens.

Patterson's task of trying to turn that record around has been made all the more difficult by an injury list that is growing on a weekly basis.

And without consistency of selection, consistency in results is difficult to find.

"We look at last year – we won a game we lost a game, we won two games we lost a game. What we need to get now is the consistency," said Patterson.

"We have a very small squad, David Howland needs an operation which won't take place until the end of October and it will be a couple of months before he can even train again.

"Jay Magee and Aaron Boyd are out, we have to see how David Scullion responds to treatment and Jordan Stewart is away on international duty with the Northern Ireland under-19s.

"We only have around 19 or 20 players in the squad as a result of the cut backs that there have been at the club over the last couple of years.

"It's something that is a big challenge for the players, a challenge for the coaching staff and if we can keep the majority of them fit then hopefully we can progress.

"When you haven't got consistency of selection it's a big problem, but there is nothing that we can do about that at this moment in time.

"The important thing is that this club is still in the Premiership and still surviving."

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