Scott Young said last night that peace has broken out between Glentoran and Linfield after a tunnel bust-up at Windsor Park.
The Oval boss and Linfield striker Peter Thompson failed to see eye to eye after the Blues’ recorded a crucial 2-1 win over their old enemy.
Tempers boiled over at the final whistle but Young explained that he contacted his Blues counterpart David Jeffrey yesterday and that the bust-up had been “put to bed”.
“The matter has been dealt with in house with ourselves and Linfield,” said Young. “I phoned David Jeffrey and it has been put to bed. Sometimes things can boil over but it has all blown over and there remains massive respect between both clubs.”
Thompson said that as far as he was concerned, the incident was now “put to bed”.
Young was upset at the defeat which is a damaging psychological blow to his title-chasing troops.
An eight-point lead at the top of the Carling Premiership is a healthy advantage — particularly for a side as experienced in winning titles as the Blues.
However, Young took heart from the reaction of Glentoran fans at the finish.
“The Glentoran supporters clapped us off the pitch after we lost 2-1 to our big rivals and that’s a rare occurrence,” added Young.
“I was proud of the Glens fans for that. They understand that we don’t have a huge amount of money to buy players and that we are all working as hard as we can.
“Supporters are often called a fickle bunch — and particularly Big Two fans — but they can be patient and understanding.
“It’s the first time in my time at the club that I have seen the Glens fans react in that way and it sends out a message that they appreciate the efforts of everyone.
“We have a rebuilding job to do at this football club and the fans will be behind us while we go about the job. I can take a lot of encouragement from their reaction, coming after a defeat to our biggest rivals at Windsor Park.”
Fortunes can change quickly in football and while Linfield refuse to put the champagne on ice, Glentoran will be aware that they can fight their way back into the title hunt.
The measure of a strong player and team is how they respond to damaging setbacks and Young has no doubt his players will rise to the occasion at home to Donegal Celtic on Saturday.
“People can talk about character and I have leaders in that dressing room, players like Paul Leeman and Colin Nixon — they’re leaders and legends,” added the Glens chief.
“We weren’t poor against Linfield, with a little luck we could have beaten them and our goalkeeper Elliott Morris didn’t have a lot of saves to make. It’s about fighting back and we have the character to do that.
“You are always disappointed to lose against your biggest rivals but we have to pick ourselves up and get on with the task of beating DC, a team who are in form, a team who also beat Linfield recently,” he said.
“We’ve a lot to be proud of this season and we will keep going. It’s been a difficult time but the players will stick to their task.”