Cliftonville manager Eddie Patterson has laid down a challenge to his players.
The Solitude boss enters tomorrow’s Carling Premiership clash with Newry City — the second time these two clubs have met in a Sunday fixture this season — without the services of highly rated teenage striker Liam Boyce.
And Patterson insists that it is up to the 11 players who so take the field in red shirts to ensure that his starlet isn’t missed during his spell with the Northern Ireland under-21 squad.
“We have a lot of young players in the squad and because of the goals he has scored Liam Boyce is the one who has had the most focus on him,” said Patterson.
“With having a young squad inconsistency is a problem that we have to try to overcome as best we can.
“The things that Liam does well he does very well, but because he is young he doesn’t always play as well as he can do.
“We know he is a good player and we’ll have to cope without him when he is away with the under-21s, but that gives a chance for someone else to come in and stake their claim.”
The Reds are in fine form with three wins in succession, but Newry are in stark contrast to that and if they don’t win tomorrow it will be ten games without victory.