Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Glentoran's appetite has been whetted

It may not have put any league points on the board, but Glentoran skipper Paul Leeman believes that the Glens emphatic Setanta Sports Cup victory over Linfield on Monday night could provide the perfect catalyst for their title challenge.

The east Belfast men have been far from their best in the bread and butter of the JJB Sports Premiership, even though they remain unbeaten so far.

The fayre on offer has been less than appetising for the fans as two wins and three draws and, perhaps surprisingly, only five goals from those games, have failed to offer a great deal to shout about.

However, with a buzz around the camp following that hammering of their rivals, Leeman is in no doubt that morale in the camp will be higher than normal and is expecting a feast of football going into tomorrow’s clash with early pacesetters Coleraine at the Oval.

“Confidence is going to be high because it’s not often you get a result like that against your biggest rivals,” said Leeman.

“I think it probably flattered us a bit but it was a great performance from the team and there were some really good individual performances as well.

“It has given us a bigger lift but I don’t think we were that down in the first place. The draws against Distillery and Crusaders were games that we could and should have won — we had the chances but just didn’t take them.

“That was the same problem against Newry last week and we were very disappointed with that, but the boys showed the quality on Monday against Linfield and that shows exactly what we can do.

“Now it’s a case of pushing on and doing the same thing again.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground though, because last week we scored six against Ballymena in the County Antrim Shield then didn’t perform against Newry. It’s about using what we have done in previous games and pushing forward.”

The visit of Coleraine represents another difficult test for the Glens, against a team who while always prove to be tough opposition, haven’t had a good record at the Oval in recent years.

Judging by their early season form all that could change tomorrow, and Leeman knows he and his team mates have to be on their guard.

“People might say it’s a bit of a surprise to see them up there, especially after bringing in a new manager,” added the skipper.

“But I have been speaking to a few players and managers who have come up against them this season and they tell me that they are a big physical side who are tough to play against.

“I’m not surprised to see teams like them and Distillery at the top because they have all strengthened. I would say though that it is after Christmas that you get a real reflection on how things are going to turn out in the league.”

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