Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Anderson a huge fan of title-chasing Cliftonville

Whitey Anderson believes it will take a "sea change" for Cliftonville to miss out on title glory this season.

The Mallards are one of only three sides – including Crusaders and Linfield – to have beaten Tommy Breslin's men in the league this season as the leaders have been an unstoppable force.

Second-placed Crusaders need a huge favour from the Fermanagh men with the finishing line coming into view and they will be hoping that lightning strikes twice after United rocked the Reds 1-0 at Solitude back in September.

But one look at the goalscoring charts suggests that the north Belfast juggernaut will be hard to stop when it arrives at Ferney Park.

Anderson admits the chasing pack have their work cut out.

"There is no secret formula to beating Cliftonville," said the Whites boss.

"When we won 1-0 both sides had chances but it was just one of those days when we were able to take one chance.

"Liam Martin produced a moment of magic on the wing and Jason McCartney provided the finish. But that's the one big thing Cliftonville are very good at – taking chances.

"We haven't scored in our last three matches and if you can't score, you won't win football matches.

"No-one can say the title race is over yet – Tommy wouldn't because he knows you have to finish the job, but it would take a sea change for someone else to overtake them. I just cannot see it happening.

"We still have work to do to pin down a place in the top six and, as great as our season has been to date, you really want to finish strongly."

Only Jaimie McGovern has a championship medal within Cliftonville's ranks but the players have exploded the myth they would crumble under the pressure.

"When I watch Cliftonville I don't see a team feeling any pressure," added Anderson.

"I see a team that is playing to their strengths and playing with confidence.

"As strange as it sounds, I think they are a great team to play against.

"They like to play football the right way and it's often an open game.

"But in two matches against them we have had a player sent off so we need to keep 11 men on the pitch to have a chance this time.

"I was very disappointed with our performance against Donegal Celtic.

"It was a game we should have won but we will keep trying to play football the right way."

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