Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Breslin: our boys need to move through the gears

Looking up: Tommy Breslin expects more from his players
Looking up: Tommy Breslin expects more from his players

Cliftonville will be aiming to put a difficult few days behind them by claiming a victory over Ballinamallard United in today's Danske Bank Premiership clash at Ferney Park.

Goalkeeper and double-title winner Conor Devlin will travel to Fermanagh as part of the Reds squad.

Devlin was found guilty of assaulting Glentoran's Jim O'Hanlon at Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Despite the off-field distractions, the Reds remain unbeaten in domestic competitions.

Last Saturday they drew 3-3 with Glenavon at Solitude, before they hammered Wakehurst 6-0 at the same venue in the second round of the WASP Solutions League Cup.

Although manager Tommy Breslin isn't entirely satisfied with Cliftonville's start to the season he is far from downbeat.

"We have done quite well so far, but we know we can perform better," he commented.

"The goals we've conceded against Institute and Glenavon in the last couple of weeks have been a concern and maybe all the chopping and changing we've had to do in defence has contributed to that, but I still don't feel we've done ourselves justice at times.

"Overall, though, we have reason to be encouraged because we're unbeaten, we're second in the league, we're generally playing well and we've been scoring goals in recent weeks.

"Everyone, including the players, know we can do better, though, and that's what we'll be aiming to do."

After a number of early season injuries and suspensions, Cliftonville now have almost a full panel to pick from. With the recent additions of David McDaid and Tiarnan Mulvenna, there is now more competition for places than ever before, but forward Stephen Garrett is still confident that he can play a big part in Cliftonville's season. Garrett said: "I started the season in attack, which isn't my favourite position but obviously I was happy just to play wherever the team needed me.

"With Liam Boyce leaving we needed to bring in some new striking options so I was delighted when we signed David McDaid and Tiarnan Mulvenna.

"Davy has been excellent so far, as he can both score goals and make goals. It was him who set me up for my goal at Institute, which is the sort of thing he brings to the table. I'm happier playing on the flanks and hopefully I'll get a run in the team at some point."

Although Whitey Anderson's men have only lost one game so far this season, they're yet to win a league match this campaign.

The Mallards sit in 11th place, three points ahead of basement club Warrenpoint Town.

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