Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Injury-hit Fitzgerald frustrated that Crusaders clash is off

Glentoran's Dean Fitzgerald picked up a neck injury in Tuesday's win over Coleraine

Dean Fitzgerald suffered a neck injury against Coleraine on Tuesday night that restricted his movement yesterday.

Had he been able to, however, the Glentoran midfielder would have been shaking his head in frustration that Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash between current Carling Premiership leaders Crusaders and the second- placed Glens is off.

International call-ups for Crusaders pair Colin Coates and Martin Donnelly (under-21s) forced the postponement of the clash at the Oval.

The 10-day break before a trip to Dungannon Swifts may mean Fitzgerald is fully fit to return to action, but he is thinking about the team before himself.

The all-action middle-man says he would much rather the Glens were in action on Saturday after the hard-fought 1-0 success against the Bannsiders took Alan McDonald’s defending champions second in the table.

“When you get a win under your belt and play well you want the games to keep coming in order to build momentum,” said the Dubliner.

“We were disappointing against Ballymena last week and it’s not that we were exceptional against Bohemians in the Setanta Cup, we met the standards and lived up to the expectations that there are at a club like Glentoran.

“The fact that we walked off the pitch disappointed with the result after the performance that we gave said it all. We all felt that we deserved more and if Richard Clarke had scored the penalty it would have been a different game.

“We had to battle and scrap against Coleraine at times, but that is something that we’ll have to do throughout the season if we’re going to be as successful as last season.”

Fitzgerald joined the Glens in December 2006 and admits he was surprised that it took him until May this year to capture a league crown for the first time — after previously lifting the Gibson Cup with Portadown.

“There were other seasons when we were in better positions than last season, but didn’t go on and go that bit extra,” added Fitzgerald.

“It’s all about getting over the finish line. We held on last season, got a couple of important results in the last few weeks and were good enough to win it.

“It is good that we’ve responded after the Ballymena game.

“Hopefully it was just a blip and we can go on now and keep performing the way we know we can and go on an extended winning run.”

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