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Cliftonville chairman Lawlor eyeing quick appointment

By Stuart McKinley

Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor has revealed that the club hope to appoint a new manager before facing Portadown next Saturday.

And current caretaker boss Gerard Lyttle is a strong favourite to get the job.

The Reds won their first three games under Lyttle, who took the reigns after Tommy Breslin sensationally quit last month, before last Saturday's thrilling 3-3 draw with Linfield at Solitude.

That run of form has given the Solitude board time as they hunt for the right man to succeed Breslin - who won back-to-back Premiership titles as part of a record-breaking trophy haul during his four seasons in charge.

Lawlor revealed that the number of 'serious' applications for the post ran into double figures, with interest coming from across Ireland, the UK and into Europe.

The right man, however, could be sitting under their noses.

"From day one I said that while Gerard Lyttle was doing a good job we were under no pressure to make a quick appointment," said Lawlor.

"He is doing an excellent job, with three wins before an excellent performance against Linfield last Saturday.

"We have set up a sub-committee to deal with the appointment, which will convene early next week and we will take things from there.

"It is three weeks since Tommy Breslin resigned and we would like to get things settled, so we will look to get something done before next Saturday's match.

"The main thing is that at the minute the players are happy, Gerard is happy and we are not in a mad rush to make an appointment.

"We always said that we would take our time as a club to look at what came up in terms of applications and then out of that we would look at the type of person that we wanted and what the targets were and what we would be looking to achieve in the short term and longer term."

Lyttle will again lead the team when they travel to Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership this afternoon - the first of two trips to Stangmore Park this week as the teams also meet in the JBE League Cup on Wednesday night.

The Reds will go into today's game without suspended duo Eamon Seydak and Caoimhin Bonner, while striker David McDaid is an injury doubt, with those absences making it more of a test for Lyttle than would normally be the case.

He must decide whether to bring club captain George McMullan back into the team after his goalscoring appearance off the bench against Linfield, with his fine chip over Ross Glendinning atoning for an earlier penalty miss.

The Swifts are without Douglas Wilson and Jamie Glackin who were both sent off against Glenavon last Saturday.

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