Scott Young is readying himself for a ding-dong battle against Cliftonville tonight after labelling the Solitude scuffle ‘a must-win game — for both teams.’
And the Glentoran manager is adamant that his team can overturn the five point gap on Carling Premiership leaders Linfield and retain their title.
The Blues are set to benefit one way or another when the third placed Glens travel to Cliftonville, who are currently in second, but it isn’t in Young’s nature to concede — especially when there are still five matches to go after tonight.
“Until it is mathematically impossible then we’re still fighting for the title,” said Young.
“There is no way after working so hard to win it last season we are going to let it go without putting a serious fight. Linfield are in the driving seat, there’s no point in denying that and in many ways it’s theirs to lose, but I’ll be doing all in my power to stop them.”
Stopping them will be difficult though and will become even harder if three points aren’t picked up tonight — and that’s why as far as Young is concerned it’s must-win.
“It’s a huge game and yes, it is must-win,” he said. “We don’t want to lose any more ground and Cliftonville will feel the same. It’s
must-win for both teams and anyone who says any different is wrong.
“When second plays third in any league it’s a huge game and we know how difficult it is going to be because Cliftonville play a brand of football that deserves respect and I’ve never had an easy game against them.”
The Glens have won both their league encounters since Young was installed in the managerial hotseat after Alan McDonald quit — on a temporary basis for the time being at least. Performances have come alongside those victories, with the 1-1 draw against Bohemians in the Setanta Sports Cup hailed as one of the Glens’ best displays in recent months.
And with momentum building there is every opportunity of keeping their title dream alive, with the current squad desperate to end a 40-year wait to retain the Gibson Cup.
“We’ve had a couple of good results and good performances and our confidence levels are coming back up,” said Young. “I told the players that there was no point going to Bohemians — who I believe are the best team in Ireland — and playing that well and not following it up. I didn’t think we got our just deserts in Dublin, but that’s football. We weren’t outstanding against Newry but we got a 3-0 win and the three points at this stage of the season is what matters most.”