Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Bring on Solitude scrap: Fordyce

Glentoran midfielder Daryl Fordyce is expecting a battle at Solitude on Saturday when he and his team-mates prepare for their biggest game of the season so far.

It's top-of-the-table Cliftonville against third-placed Glens in what should be a swashbuckling contest and the Northern Ireland Under-21 international is relishing the chance to take on the current league leaders.

The two sides have already met this season in the semi-final of the County Antrim Shield.

However, Fordyce doesn't think that game can offer an assessment of how this particular match will turn out, due to the fact the Reds had defender Declan O'Hara sent off.

A win for the Glens on Saturday would put them level on points with the north Belfast men while obviously a defeat would see them slip off the pace a little.

Even at this, only the half-way stage of the campaign, six points is a lot of ground to make up and Fordyce, who is claiming two goals against Crusaders last week, having only being credited with one (Glentoran's third was given to Hamilton), believes that this isn't so much a must-win game, as a must-not-lose encounter.

"It's a massive game for both teams but in terms of where we are in the league, I don't think we can really afford to lose the match," he said. "Cliftonville are looking like they aren't going to drop too many points and so it's e up to us to take points off them.

"They are playing very well and are going to be hard to beat but that is a challenge we have to take on.

"I can't see there being too much football being played. Both teams have footballers among them but this is going to be a pure battle.

" I think it will be frantic and a game where every players is just going to have to dig in a fight for the win. If that is what it takes then that is what we are going to have to do.

"Sometimes you just have to forget about getting the ball down and just do what you have to do to win the match. It is probably going to be like that on Saturday.

" There is much at stake for both teams, especially at this time of year when there are a lot of games, and this is when we will really see who is going to be up there at the end of the season.

"We are pretty confident at the minute. We lost to Limavady the other week but we bounced back and got a good win against Crusaders on Saturday and the confidence is high again.

"Now I am sure all the boys are going to be fired up and I for one can't wait to play.

"It is one of those games that you don't need any motivation. Two really good teams going at it, there will be a good atmosphere and I am really looking forward to it."

While Fordyce admits he doesn't know too much about Cliftonville with this being his first season in the Irish League after being signed from Portsmouth, he seems to have been told a fair bit about them.

" I have only played against them once and you can't really gauge that because they only had 10 men for much of it, but I saw enough to say they are a good team," he admitted.

"They are hard to beat on their own ground which is a big thing we have to overcome. You don't get to the top of the league without being any good.

"But we have been doing OK too. We have players who can hurt teams and if we are on song, we can come away with the right result."