Glentoran manager Alan McDonald has told the Oval faithful that they need a ‘reality check’ if they think they can expect to win every game this season.
The east Belfast men were booed off the pitch on Tuesday night by a minority of fans after another frustrating display against Crusaders which culminated in their second 1-1 draw on the trot.
The Glens are yet to win in the JJB Sports Premiership this season after two games and McDonald has stated that all the hype surrounding their chances of claiming the title this season should be taken with a pinch of salt — and he has warned that there will be more and more tough challenges ahead.
“I keep saying to people who will listen; anybody who thinks that Glentoran are just going to turn up and win games this season, needs to be realistic – it is just not going to happen,” he said.
“People are saying we are favourites but I have said we are not — Linfield are favourites, they are the champions so they are favourites. We finished well last season, but that’s last season, it’s gone. You’ve seen the standard, you’ve seen Lisburn Distillery on Saturday and you’ve seen Crusaders — this is going to be a massively tough league to win.
“Anybody who thinks otherwise need to have a reality check. Look at the results – Cliftonville losing (to Distillery) and Linfield equalising late on (against Dungannon Swifts), it’s going to be a tough league, a much higher standard than last year.”
McDonald admitted that his side are yet to find their feet in the new look league. Goals are being conceded, from set-pieces especially, that are proving costly and McDonald has vowed to keep working to eradicate the problem.
“We just have to be patient, it will come,” he added. “This is a very good squad of players. As I have said, we are not firing on all cylinders but it will come - let’s just be realistic.
“We are conceding the same type of goals but it is different people who are responsible. It just seems that we are having a little run at the moment for whatever reason and it’s certainly not for the want of working on it.”
l Following Alan Mannus’ call up to the Northern Ireland squad, Linfield’s match with Glenavon on September 6 has been postponed with a date yet to be arranged for the fixture.
The game between Newry City and Crusaders, scheduled for October 11 will now be played on Wednesday, October 22 at the Showgrounds (7.45pm).