Eddie Patterson admits to Cliftonville team blunder
Eddie Patterson last night held up his hands to sending out the wrong team as Coleraine spoilt Cliftonville's homecoming on Tuesday night.
The Reds boss, however, is likely to keep the faith with most — if not all — of the players who lost to the Bannsiders in the first game played on Solitude’s new artificial pitch.
Patterson sees potential in his talented crop of youngsters, four of whom — in the shape of Jody Lynch, Martin Jones, Dermot McVeigh and Rory Donnelly — impressed in last Saturday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup win over Championship side Larne.
His eagerness to protect them from the rigours of the cut and thrust of the Carling Premiership might have got the better of Patterson.
“I maybe should have started with Rory Donnelly on Tuesday night after his goal against Larne last Saturday,” said Patterson.
“I decided to go with more experienced players, but some of the guys I put in weren’t 100 per cent fit and I take responsibility for that.
“Hindsight is a great thing and maybe I was wrong to put players who weren’t fit into the firing line, but I made the decision for the right reasons, although admittedly it backfired.”
The quartet of kids were all on the bench against Coleraine and it looks very much like they will remain there when red meets white this afternoon, with Patterson taking his team into battle away to Lisburn Distillery.
“One bad game doesn’t make a bad team,” said Patterson.
“One thing that I can say with confidence is that I have never dumped any player after one game.
“I have always given players opportunities to redeem themselves and although I haven’t made a final decision yet on the team that will play against Lisburn Distillery I know the players and I know they’re better than they showed against Coleraine.”
Donnelly’s goal at Inver Park is the only strike the Reds have recorded in their last four games.
With Liam Boyce now proving himself in Germany with Werder Bremen, Stephen Garrett still looking for his first goal for the club and Chris Scannell not quite firing on all cylinders, finding the net is proving to be a problem.
“We lacked firepower against Coleraine and I wasn’t happy because our work rate off the ball wasn’t good either,” said Patterson.
“We are missing Ryan Catney’s bite in midfield as well, but he’s only a couple of weeks away from training again.”