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Blues are the team to beat, says Flynn

By Stuart McKinley

Linfield are en-route to a third successive Irish Premier League title.

So says the man whose team became the latest to fall to the Blues.

And Newry City manager Gerry Flynn believes that Glentoran will finish no higher than third in their bid to wrestle the Gibson Cup from the Blues.

Flynn has faced all three title contenders in the last month and finds it hard to look past David Jeffrey's side, who won 3-0 at the Showgrounds last Saturday.

"I would say Linfield are the strongest team out of the three," said Flynn.

"Cliftonville aren't that far behind them, but squad wise they mightn't just have the quality that Linfield have on the bench.

"Linfield brought on Oran Kearney and Mark Dickson against us and Kris Lindsay was on the bench too.

"Conor Downey was playing for the Swifts and he will be ready to come back into the first-team soon too.

"Cliftonville aren't able to call on those kind of resources.

"Glentoran are just a wee bit below those two I think."

Flynn has been pushing to break into that top bracket and Newry hovered in fourth place in the table for a while.

That run of games against the top three brought no return points wise which saw them slip to sixth place and a defeat against Portadown tomorrow will see the Shamrock Park men overtake them in the table.

"We've had a few injuries to key players and with a small squad that has hurt us," said Flynn.

"We haven't had the rub of the green, but we'll be full of confidence going into Saturday.

"I don't think there is that much of a gap between ourselves and the top teams.

"We should have got a point out of the game against Glentoran, if not win it.

"Against Crusaders I was gutted because we threw it away in the last 30 seconds.

"In our game at Cliftonville we created chances and Sean Friars had a great chance just after half-time which would have made it 1-1 and that changes the game.

"I felt that we were the better side in the first-half against Linfield and Michael Gault should have been sent-off for a blatant elbow. Decisions change games, he stayed on the pitch and that's that.

"We're not playing that bad, second-half of games is worrying because we're not turning up - like Saturday."

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