Frustrated Eddie Patterson warns 'lazy' Glentoran stars to fix attitude
Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson admits he is rapidly losing patience with his under-performing stars and has demanded an improvement in tomorrow's showdown with Portadown at The Oval.
The ailing east-Belfast side must come back off the ropes following a poor showing at home to Ballymena United last weekend when Glenn Ferguson's side racked up their first win of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign.
An angry Patterson accused his players of being lazy and blasted their attitude. He also found them guilty of failing to carry out basic training ground instructions.
Little wonder the Portadown game can't come quickly enough for the frustrated Glens boss.
"I have noticed a lazy streak creeping into our play in recent weeks," claimed Patterson. "We are simply not working hard enough in games and it's just not acceptable.
"Work rate has been one of our strengths since I came to the club. But that's not happening at the minute. We are giving the ball away much too easily. We are not doing enough to retain it. Last week was a prime example.
"We started really well and then just took our foot off the gas. We were guilty of giving the ball away too often. If anything, we gave it away more against Ballymena than we did over the last number of weeks. So that tells me people are not working hard enough off the ball. Only the players know the reason why."
Patterson stressed that attitudes must improve before it's too late.
He added: "This game is all about attitudes. We preach to the players their attitude must be spot on regardless of the opposition. It's impossible to switch it off and on.
"You can't coach that, it comes from the individual. This club needs players with big personalities, boys that give 110 per cent regardless of the opposition. For whatever reason, it didn't happen in certain recent matches.
"We produced a good display against Crusaders, but played for only a small percentage of the games against Carrick Rangers, Warrenpoint Town and Ballymena United. Was it because they are classed as so-called 'lesser' clubs? It doesn't work like that, I'm afraid. It's all down to attitude.
"We started well in games, playing nice one or two touch stuff. Then we stopped. Some individuals start taking four and five touches and basically getting caught on the ball. That has been our downfall.
"People start getting into the mode of doing their own thing, not what they have been coached. That's when the problems start. That's where the lack of attitude comes in.
"You look at David Howland. That was his first 90 minutes in two years (against Ballymena). He gave me more energy than the rest of them - and those are guys who have been playing regularly over the course of the last two seasons.
"Some players think they need more touches on the ball to prove a point or to show what they can do. That is an individual's game. The place to do that is the final third of the park. The first two thirds, you play a team game and create the opportunities. The improvisation comes in the final third."
Patterson will have centre-back Jay Magee available again. The big former Glenavon man missed last weekend due to an automatic one-match suspension following his dismissal in the League Cup tie against the PSNI.
But Jim O'Hanlon and goalkeeper Elliott Morris remain on the injured list.