Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

McMullan is aiming for number one

Forget the battle between X-Factor winner Leon, Katie Melua's unique duet with Eva Cassidy and Colin Murray's attempts to push the unknown Malcolm Middleton to the top of the charts.



There is much more intensity about the fight to be Christmas number one in the Irish Premier League, with three clubs pushing for the honour.

Cliftonville, Glentoran and Linfield are involved in the race, but only the Reds have it in their own hands.

A first league win over Glentoran under Eddie Patterson's management will see them spend Christmas at the summit and then, as the second-half of the season looms, it will be up to the rest of the challengers to try to knock them off.

And if George McMullan has anything to do with it that's exactly where his team will be when the turkey is carved.

The Solitude midfield dynamo is the league's in-form player at present with four goals in as many games and his performance will be key against Glentoran today.

"To be top of the league at this time of the year is great and we'll be doing everything to stay there for as long as possible," said McMullan.

"It is the first time I have experienced being at the top of the league, it is different and a good feeling.

"It is also great for confidence and everyone is enjoying it.

"You also make it hard for yourselves when you go to the top of the league because you become a big scalp and everyone raises their game against you.

"We're not too worried about that though, we just try to raise our game too and give our all to get three points."

And McMullan believes the Cliftonville players have started to make Eddie Patterson's job a little easier of later.

"We don't need motivated at the minute and there isn't much that Eddie needs to say," said McMullan.

"It's a case of him coming in, telling us what he wants us to do, pass on a few instructions and then the rest is up to us.

"We just need to keep doing what we have been doing and keep winning matches."

McMullan's own personal turn in fortunes is, he believes, down to the manager.

The 26-year-old spent some time sitting on the bench earlier in the season, but his recent goal-glut makes McMullan as close to undroppable as you will get in the Irish Premier League at present.

"I've had a bit of an up and down time this season," he admitted.

"I started well in the European run that we had, but I lost a bit of form after that and was left out of the team.

"That just makes you more determined to get back and it's probably taught me a lesson.

"I was maybe in a bit of a comfort zone and you can't afford to be like that at Cliftonville.

"I've hit a bit of good form and long may that continue because this is a really good time to be part of things at the club."

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