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Lyttle has done well to counter Reds' problems, maintains Flynn

By Graham Luney

Johnny Flynn says his old club Cliftonville shouldn't be too harsh on themselves after a season which has thrown up a series of setbacks.

The Ballymena United defender will be back at Solitude this afternoon renewing acquaintances with former Reds comrades and he accepts the north Belfast side haven't set the Premiership on fire the way they would have liked this campaign.

Their four-year dominance of the League Cup was shattered and hopes of winning the league title faded, with Gerard Lyttle's men now focused on securing a third-placed finish and European spot.

Former Blackburn Rovers and Falkirk defender Flynn, who is now in his second spell with the Sky Blues, has plenty of sympathy for his old boss.

"I look forward to going back to Solitude but in recent times I haven't been able to play my part in matches so it's nice to be involved in the first team again," said the 27-year-old.

"There's been a lot of transition at the club with boys moving on, coming in and then injuries and suspensions have occurred as well as a few off-field issues Gerard has faced.

"But they will still be confident of sealing third place and European football. I think with the squad 'Skin' has they will probably feel they should have performed better in the league but you have to give the top teams credit and Cliftonville will regroup and show what they can do.

"The horrible injury Ryan Catney sustained was another huge blow but there have been other injuries and they've found it difficult to have a settled side for various reasons. I think they have done quite well considering the problems that have arisen."

The fight to secure third place is an intriguing one with Coleraine, Cliftonville and Ballymena United aiming to finish the season on a high.

"My own club Ballymena United have just won the League Cup and third place is also on our wishlist," added Flynn.

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