Belfast Telegraph

Curtis Allen backs Kernaghan to steer Glens to success

By Graham Luney

Curtis Allen is confident Glentoran can celebrate more big results under new boss Alan Kernaghan.

The Glens rocked title-chasing Cliftonville 2-0 at The Oval last weekend, injecting fresh belief into the squad going into Saturday's Boxing Day scrap with Linfield on Mersey Street.

It was Kernaghan's sweetest moment since he signed a two-year deal last month, accepting the baton from Eddie Patterson who was relieved of his duties.

It can be a rollercoaster ride being a Big Two boss but the former Clyde and Dundee chief has masterminded impressive Premiership wins over Glenavon, Ballinamallard United and now the Reds.

The former Middlesborough and Manchester City defender faces his toughest test to date with a festive fixture that will be a new experience in the careers of both bosses.

Kernaghan and Linfield chief David Healy will get their first taste of the Boxing Day bust-up as managers but both have a spring in their step after big wins last weekend.

The old enemies may have lost ground to north Belfast rivals in the hunt for silverware but striker Allen can only visualise good times under Kernaghan.

"I think Alan has been brilliant so far," said the former Linfield hitman.

"From the work we have done together I have been very impressive by his professional attitude.

"His instructions to players are clear and he gets his ideas and tactics across well.

"He's got a wealth of experience in the game and with that knowledge and relationship he has with players I'm convinced he can bring success to this club.

"I think he knows how to get the best out of us and I think we are looking more dangerous and confident.

"Like any managerial position he needs time to build and impose his ideas on the team but we also know it's a results-based business.

"I think we are rebuilding for the future whereas there is more pressure on David (Healy) and Linfield."

Glentoran will relish the opportunity to crank up the heat on rookie boss Healy but they will face a side buoyed by an impressive 3-1 victory at Ballymena United.

"It will be another huge game with a fantastic atmosphere but we are confident we can win it," added Allen.

"The Boxing Day matches are unusual as form really does not matter and players that have been quiet for two months can suddenly spring to life and be on fire.

"Linfield will be well up for it but so will we.

"If we can beat Linfield after winning against Cliftonville it will be another huge step in the right direction for us.

"I felt we gave away silly goals in the defeat at Portadown but the way we responded was impressive.

"I felt we deserved the victory as it was a well organised performance and that breeds confidence going forward. We know we are capable of beating anyone but you have to go out and perform."

Belfast Telegraph


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