Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Eddie’s young Cliftonville gems in sparkling form

When Eddie Patterson put his faith in youth at the start of the season he was expecting that it would take time for his starlets to truly shine.

Now, however, their potential is starting to be fulfiled and that has shot Cliftonville into title contention, sitting third in the Carling Premiership table.

And with only three points separating them from the summit and games in hand over the teams above them — Glentoran and Crusaders — the Reds are ready to prove that you can win things with kids.

“We struggled a bit early in the season, but we on a good run and things have turned around because the young lads are gaining in confidence,” said Patterson.

“That has come through experience and with confidence and experience comes consistency, so it’s a combination of things and something of a chain reaction that has lead to the improvement in results.

“Without one factor you don’t get the others and as well as that we have players back from injury now which has brought about competition for places and that keeps everyone on their toes.”

Patterson’s men have recorded seven straight wins in the league and gone 11 games unbeaten overall, but he is expecting that record to be fully tested by Institute at Solitude tomorrow afternoon.

“I know that Institute haven’t lost in Belfast this season,,” he said.

“They are a bit similar to us in that John Gregg has put his faith in younger players and they are a team that is always up for a battle.”

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