Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Cliftonville striker Garrett plans more agony for old pals

Stephen Garrett is hoping to maintain his impressive record against his former clubs when he returns to the Newry Showgrounds this evening.

The Cliftonville striker has yet to taste defeat against ex-employers Newry City or Linfield since signing up at Solitude and, buoyed by today being named Carling's Player of the Month for December, is keeping his fingers crossed that statistic will still apply come close of play tonight.

“We know we're in for a tough game because that's exactly what's happened in our two previous meetings with Newry this season,” he said.

“They had a great win over Distillery last week but the fact they lost to Glenavon on Tuesday night means they're going to be really fired up for this one.

“I actually scored the winner the last time Cliftonville played Newry and, though it would be nice to do the same again, I don't think any of us really care where the goals come from.

“If we're going to get anything from the game, the whole team will have to work hard — not just the goalscorers.”

Such an outlook is typical for a player who, despite not finding the net throughout December, still produced consistent performances worthy of landing the 23-year-old his first Player of the Month honour.

“I'm delighted with the award because I didn't really see it coming,” he added.

“There weren't too many games played because of the snow but thankfully our new pitch turned out to be an advantage last month,” said Garrett, whose side can move into second place with victory this evening.

“We didn't start the month too well against Glentoran but played really well in the next two to beat Linfield and Crusaders.

“I had a goal disallowed against the Blues but the result was the main thing and it was particularly sweet for me as I've never managed to beat Linfield since leaving them and now I've won my first Player of the Month award, so it's been a good few weeks for me.

“Hopefully Cliftonville will keep improving in the final few months of the season and who knows how far we can go.

“Fingers crossed, this won't be the last of our awards this season and I would like to thank Carling for the honour.”

Garrett topped the poll ahead of second placed Jimmy Callacher of Glentoran and Glenavon's Mark Haughey.

The Carling Goal of the Month was awarded to Niall Henderson for Dungannon Swifts in their 2-1 defeat against Ballymena United on December 11.

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