Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Don't go: Leeman's plea to McDonald

Paul Leeman says it would be ‘criminal' if Alan McDonald and his staff aren't at the helm to challenge for another JJB Sports Premiership title.

The Glens clinched the Gibson Cup on Saturday for the first time in four years, but all the post-match talk surrounded McDonald, (pictured) who has been criticised for his side's style of play, and his future.

He has yet to be offered a new contract — though the Glentoran Board of directors are believed to be ready to put a deal on the table soon — and rumours are rife that even if he is asked to stay on, the former Northern Ireland captain may take up a job at the Irish FA as Director of Coaching.

As far as his captain Leeman is concerned, it would be a travesty if McDonald was to leave the newly crowned champions.

“We've just won the league — the manager and the backroom staff have got to be here. We've won the big tournament that everybody wants to win,” said Leeman

“It would be criminal if they weren't here.”

“The manager will tell you it's been difficult for him because we have been top of the league for a long time, we reached the Setanta Cup final and went on an amazing run last season.

“A lot of the criticism has been unfair as far as I'm concerned.

“Maybe we haven't been playing good football at times, but we're still top of the league and I played in a lot of great footballing teams that never even came close to winning the league.

“At the end of the day it's all about lifting the cup and we managed to do that so the manager and the backroom staff deserve a lot of credit.”

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