Belfast Telegraph

Daniel Hughes is backing Cliftonville to hit their Euro target

By Graham Luney

After scoring a late winner against Carrick Rangers on Tuesday night, Daniel Hughes has set his sights on firing Cliftonville to the European stage.

The Reds are hunting down a Europa League place and victory at home to Glenavon tomorrow would lift them above the Lurgan Blues into third spot in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Goals from Jay Donnelly and Hughes helped secure a crucial 2-1 win over Carrick but Gary Hamilton's Irish Cup finalists are expected to be more formidable opponents.

Former Warrenpoint Town striker Hughes predicts the Solitude showdown will be a tasty affair with European qualification and it's associated financial benefits on the line.

"Cliftonville have enjoyed a taste of European football and it's very important for the club that that trend continues," said the 23-year-old.

"The finances are important in terms of building for the future but it also lifts the profile and it's exciting for the players to be involved in. That European spot is the target for everyone and we need to keep winning to secure it.

"Glenavon are flying at the minute and I was a bit surprised they didn't beat Ballymena United on Tuesday night.

"Perhaps their efforts in the Irish Cup semi-final caught up with them but they are a very dangerous side with Kevin Braniff hitting form at the right time."

The Scannell brothers will be among the special guests when Cliftonville face a Celtic XI in George McMullan's Testimonial on Monday night.

Chris and Ronan, who each won a string of honours alongside George during their own careers, will also pay tribute to McMullan who made his 539th appearance for the club against Carrick Rangers on Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph